STIA-402 Clean Energy Innovation
Fall for 2017-2018
Sivaram, Varun
Mitigating climate change will require adopting breakthrough clean energy technologies in the electricity sector at scale. This course will introduce students to three interconnected aspects of clean energy innovation to paint a broad picture of (i) the state of the art in clean energy technology, (ii) the economic application of technology in markets, and (iii) the use of policy to support emerging technologies on their path to market. For the first half of the course, students will learn the science behind clean energy technologies in the power sector including: solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, storage, and the electricity grid. This unit will require some familiarity with basic physics but otherwise will endeavor to build technical fluency from the ground up. For the second half of the course, students will study the economics and policy aspects of clean energy innovation. We will examine the market structure of the electricity sector, the benefits and costs of clean energy, mechanisms to pay for clean energy, and the economic theory of innovation and technological change. In addition, we will investigate policy options to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace. We will study both which policies can accelerate innovation as well as which can stunt it, and we will conclude with recommendations for U.S. policy on the domestic and international stages.

Learning Goals

• Have a basic technical understanding of the science behind clean energy technologies, achieve literacy in assessing their performance metrics, and gain exposure to research frontiers
• Understand the economic factors that drive clean energy adoption and recognize energy market limitations that impede technology uptake
• Appreciate the double-edged sword of policy in advancing or obstructing innovation and understand the policy options available to support domestic and international innovation
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
More information
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