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Spring Energy Elective

21st Century Opportunities and Challenges in Energy — Strategic Decision-making about Systems Change


Trade-offs in energy strategies are the focus of this interdisciplinary course. Whether the aim is modernization, cleaner energy or security, decision-makers must choose among options. How do we ensure that there is reliable and affordable energy? How do we consider natural resource and/or regional limits? To what degree is resilience or flexibility critical for our system, and how do we evaluate the competing interests?

This course will expose students to a range of international complexities in energy. Using a socio-technical systems approach, students will examine societal and industry objectives, explore tools and metrics, consider tradeoffs at meta- and micro-levels, and gain insight into interactions and cascade effects. In doing so, students will refine skills in energy analysis and critical thinking. Infrastructure, technology, and behavior will be covered in the context of policy and markets. Prerequisite: Interest in critically thinking about energy.

Course Information

Course Number(s):
Graduate (3 units): PUBADM 581-001, ECON 597-001, ENGR 597-003, HES tbd

Undergraduate (3 units): ENVSTD 498-006 (16277), GLOBAL 498-005 (16276), POLS 498-001 (16302), URBAN 497, ECON 497, ENGR 497, HES tbd

Instructor: Kathy Araujo (SPS/EPI), 908 Yankee Building,

Time: Spring 2020, Wednesdays, 6:00-8:45 pm

Location: EDUC 223


For more information on this course, please contact Dr. John Gardner (

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