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Energy and Development

University of Queensland via edX

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Are you concerned about developing countries’ access to energy? This course examines the fundamental importance of energy transitions for achieving sustainable development. You will learn about the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the nexus that occurs around food, energy and water.

In this course, you will explore a range of global change issues and investigate the ensuing implications for energy. Issues covered include resource depletion, population, consumption, security and conflict. With a focus on both the developed, fast developing and developing countries you will learn about a range of legal, political, regulatory and behavioural frameworks and will be provided with a number of tools for prioritising stakeholders.

You will also learn about systems thinking and its application and relevance to the complex world we live in today. Another skill you will develop is stakeholder analysis and prioritisation. You will learn about the importance of stakeholder management and tips and ideas for communicating and engaging with them.


Topic 1: The Implications of Energy Access for All
This topic investigates the meaning of sustainability with regard to energy, energy inequality across the world and the implications of development.

Topic 2: Examining the Sustainable Development Goals
This topic examines the sustainable development goals and their links to the millennium goals and the United Nations.

Topic 3: Development Paradigms
In this topic learners are introduced to the meaning of development, different paradigms and intervention approaches.

Topic 4: Policy Responses to the Changing Energy Landscape
This topic describes the how the responses from government to current challenges in the energy space are dependent on the maturity of the energy market and population, and demographics.

Topic 5: Systems Thinking
During this topic learners are introduced to systems thinking and how it applies to the food/energy/water nexus and technological change.

Topic 6: Population and Resources
This topic describes the population problem, demographics, urbanisation and how access levels to natural resources can create conflict.

Topic 7: Trade agreements: Impacts on Wealth and Poverty
In this topic learners are introduced to the effect of trade agreements on wealth, poverty and the environment.

Topic 8: The Food Water Energy Nexus
This topic gives an overview of the food/water/energy nexus including competition for land and other resources.

Topic 9: Stakeholder Management and Social Licence to Operate
This topic addresses stakeholder management by looking at why it is important, how to characterise stakeholders and principles for engagement, as well as how to maintain a social licence to operate.

Topic 10: Technology Solutions for Energy Access
In this topic, the implications of end use requirements, and levels of access and techno-economics on technology options are explored.

Taught by

Professor Peta Ashworth


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