Common Renewable Energy/Renewables Courses

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Common Renewable Energy/Renewables Courses

Key Takeaways

  • The most common renewable energy topics are solar energy, wind energy, green buildings, introduction to renewable energy, and energy storage. These topics were identified based on lists from industry experts, top/best renewable energy courses lists, and the top Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) providers.
  • Solar energy is the most common renewable energy topic on websites like Coursera, edX, and Alison.
  • The "Solar Energy" course from the Delft University of Technology is one the most common courses within the solar energy topic. This course was mentioned by Class Central, edX, Digital Defynd, and Free Tutorial Online.

Introduction

This research provides a list of five of the most common renewable energy courses/topics. These topics were identified by analyzing the common topics on different course lists from industry experts, top/best renewable energy courses lists, and the top Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) providers. For each topic, the research details a brief overview of the topic, the reason behind the inclusion, and 1-2 examples of courses within the topic.

Definition of Most Common Courses/Topics

To determine the most common renewable energy courses/topics, we relied on three categories:
  • Courses provided by industry experts, such as The Renewable Energy Institute, Solar Energy International, and Energy Gov.
    • The Renewable Energy Institute: The topics are renewable energy management and finance, hydrogen energy, solar energy, wind power and energy, hydropower, energy storage, and biomass.
    • Solar Energy International: The topics are solar energy, introduction to renewable energy and fundamentals, and energy storage.
    • Energy Gov: The topics are renewable energy management and finance, assessing energy needs and resources, solar, energy, wind energy, biomass, geothermal energy, hydroelectric, strategic energy planning, and electricity grid basics.
  • Lists of the top/best renewable energy courses, including lists from Class Central, Digital Defynd, Keystone, and Free Tutorial Online.
    • Class Central: The courses included in this list are from some of the top universities and colleges in the world. The topics are energy future, introduction to renewable energy and fundamentals, algae, green building, politics and economics of international energy, solar energy, electricity grids, wind energy, and hydrogen energy.
    • Digital Defynd: The topics are solar energy, wind energy, green building, and introduction to renewable energy and fundamentals.
    • Keystone: The topics are solar energy, renewable energy management and finance, clean power, and wind energy.
    • Free Tutorial Online: The topics are solar energy, wind energy, green building, introduction to renewable energy, and electricity grids.
  • Courses from the top Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) providers. We identified the MOOCs providers using lists from Mordor Intelligence, Markets And Markets, and PR News Wire. From these lists, we gathered a list of the top MOOCs providers: Canvas Networks, "Coursera (US), edX (US), Pluralsight (US), Edureka (India), Alison (Ireland), Udacity (US), Udemy (US), Miríadax (Spain), Jigsaw Academy (India), Simplilearn (US), iversity (Germany), Intellipaat (India), Edmodo (US), FutureLearn (UK), LinkedIn (US), NovoEd (US), Open2Study (Australia), WizIQ (India), Skillshare (US), XuetangX (China), Federica (Italy), Linkstreet Learning (India), Khan Academy (US), and Kadenze (Spain)." Next, we checked their websites, looking for the courses listed under the "renewable energy" topic. However, some of these websites don't have any renewable energy courses, so we excluded them.
    • Coursera: The topics are solar energy, green building, wind energy, introduction to renewable energy and fundamentals, climate policies, politics and economics of renewable energy, renewable energy management and finance, algae, energy future, and electricity grids.
    • edX: The topics are solar energy, clean power, green building, electricity grids, climate (action and policies), and energy storage.
    • Alison: The topics are hydroelectric energy, wind energy, solar energy, introduction to renewable energy and fundamentals, energy storage, green building, hydroenergy, biomass, and energy future.
    • Udemy: The topics are energy storage, energy future, wind energy, solar energy, hydrogen energy, introduction to renewable energy and fundamentals, climate change, green building, and biomass.
    • LinkedIn Learning: renewable energy management, circular economy, climate change, and green buildings.
  • Given the 12 lists, we gathered a list of the most common renewable energy topics by including only the companies that appeared in at least five or six of the lists. Thus, our final list consists of solar energy, wind energy, green buildings, introduction to renewable energy, and energy storage.

Solar Energy

  • Solar energy, or energy from the sun, is the "cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available" on earth. This energy is collected and converted into electrical or thermal energy.
  • There are two ways to convert and use solar energy: photovoltaics and solar thermal capture. "Photovoltaics are much more common for smaller-scale electricity projects (like residential solar panel installations), and solar thermal capture is typically only used for electricity production on massive scales in utility solar installations."
  • Solar energy is the most common renewable energy topic, as it appeared in 11 out of the 12 lists. Some of the courses within this topic are the following:
    • Solar Energy course from Delft University of Technology: The course is one the most common courses within the solar energy topic. This course was mentioned by Class Central, edX, Digital Defynd, and Free Tutorial Online. "This course introduces the technology that converts solar energy into electricity, heat and solar fuels with a main focus on electricity generation."
    • Solar Energy Basics by The State University of New York: The course is available on Coursera. This course introduces the fundamentals of solar power and solar panel system installations.

Wind Energy

  • Wind energy, known as wind power, is "the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water), or can be converted into electricity by a generator."
  • Wind energy is one of the most common renewable energy topics, as it appeared in nine out of the 12 lists. Some of the courses within this topic are the following:
    • Wind Energy by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU): The course is available on Coursera. This course provides an overview of key aspects of wind energy engineering.
    • "Wind Energy Fundamentals: Renewable Energy Power Course" by Udemy: The course explains the concepts of wind turbines and wind farms. It also details how to design and manage wind farm projects.

Green Buildings

  • Green buildings are buildings that can improve the quality of the environment. These buildings have the planning, design, construction, and operations that comply with "several central, foremost considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material section and the building's effects on its site."
  • The topic "green buildings" is one of the most common renewable energy topics, as it appeared in eight out of the 12 lists. Some of the courses within this topic are the following:
    • Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship by Duke University: The course is available on Coursera. This course educates on how "to launch a new business in the energy, finance, real estate, design, engineering, or environmental sectors."
    • "Sustainable Architecture: Climatic Considerations and Green Buildings" by Alison: The course provides a detailed explanation of sustainability in buildings. It also explains the essential climatic considerations when designing a green building.

Introduction to Renewable Energy and Fundamentals

  • Renewable energy comes from natural renewable sources that are constantly replenished. These sources help to lower carbon emissions and other types of pollution. "The most sustainable energy sources are renewable bioenergy (wood, biomass, energy crops), geothermal (deep or shallow), solar energy (photovoltaic, solar thermal), hydro and wind energy."
  • "Introduction to Renewable Energy and Fundamentals" is one of the most common renewable energy topics, as it appeared in seven out of the 12 lists. Some of the courses within this topic are the following:
    • Introduction to Renewable Energy by Solar Energy International: This course explains the different technologies (solar, wind, and water) and trends in the market, "what situations are more appropriate for one type of renewable energy system versus another," and how to make a difference with individual energy consumption.
    • "Renewable Energy: Fundamentals and Job Opportunities" by the University at Buffalo: This course helps learners to "recognize the complexities and nuances of different renewable energy solutions, as well as relevant career opportunities (both technical occupations and roles not typically associated with clean energy)."

Energy Storage

  • Energy storage systems "help address the intermittency of solar and wind power; it can also, in many cases, respond rapidly to large fluctuations in demand, making the grid more responsive and reducing the need to build backup power plants. The effectiveness of an energy storage facility is determined by how quickly it can react to changes in demand, the rate of energy lost in the storage process, its overall energy storage capacity, and how quickly it can be recharged." There are many types of energy storage: pumped hydro, compressed air, molten salt (thermal), Li-ion battery, lead-acid battery, flow battery, hydrogen, and flywheel.
  • Energy storage is one of the most common renewable energy topics, as it appeared in five out of the 12 lists. Some of the courses within this topic are the following:
    • "Energy storage course" by Renewable Institute: The course explains the uses and advantages of different energy storage systems, such as electrical energy storage, small-scale battery storage systems, and thermal energy storage systems.

Research Strategy

For this research on the most common renewable energy courses/topics, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain, including the top Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) providers (Coursera, edX, Alison, etc.) and industry experts, such as The Renewable Energy Institute, Solar Energy International, and Energy Gov. While there is no definitive list of the most common renewable energy courses/topics, we were able to gather a list of the most common topics by analyzing 12 lists from industry experts, top/best renewable energy courses lists, and the top Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) providers. (explained above)

Research proposal:

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