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EME 802 - Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


The Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems course provides a graduate-level understanding of the conversion principles and technology behind various renewable energy sources. It also examines the issues involved in the integration of various renewable energy sources and their economics for heat, power, and transportation needs. Based on the technical and sustainability challenges, the future outlook for each of the sources and systems is discussed. This is a required core course for the Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems Program.


When you successfully complete this course, you will be to:

  • understand the principles of operation of the broad spectrum of renewable energy technologies;
  • conduct preliminary resource assessments for a variety of renewable energy technologies;
  • analyze energy technologies from a systems perspective;
  • articulate the technical challenges for each of the renewable sources; and
  • discuss economic, technical, and sustainability issues involved in the integration of renewable energy systems.

Required Materials

Recommended textbooks (not required)

  • Boyle, Godfrey. Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future, Third Edition. Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Tester, et al. Sustainable Energy, Choosing Among Options, 2nd Edition. MIT Press, 2012.




We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 8-10 hours per week on classwork.

Major Assignments

This course will rely on a variety of methods to assess and evaluate student learning, including:

Discussions (10% of total course grade)

Each lesson will have discussion questions clearly identified in the lesson content. You are to comment on these questions in the Canvas discussion board as well as respond to another student's comment to earn your full participation grade for this category.

Quizzes (15% of total course grade)

Each lesson will have an associated quiz that is due upon the completion of the lesson. 

Homework Assignments (25% of total course grade)

There will be ~5 HW assignments throughout the course of the semester. They will cover material from multiple lessons per assignment.

Exams (30% of total course grade)

There will be two exams in this course. The first will be after the 4th lesson, based on the material covered in lessons 1-4, and the second will be based on lessons 5-9.

Course Project (20% of total course grade)

There will be a team project in this course that requires students to work together on a feasibility study for a renewable energy development project in a location of their choice using the technologies and tools presented in this class.

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1Lesson 1: The Energy Landscape
  • Quiz 1
  • Lesson 1 Discussion
2Lesson 2: Energy Systems
  • Quiz 2
  • Lesson 2 Discussion
  • HW 1
3Lesson 3: Grid Integration of Renewable Energy
  • Quiz 3
  • Lesson 3 Discussion
4Lesson 4: Solar Energy
  • Quiz 4
  • Lesson 4 Discussion
  • HW 2
5Mid-term exam
  • Mid-term exam
6Lesson 5: Bioenergy
  • Quiz 5
  • Lesson 5 Discussion
7Lesson 6: Wind Energy
  • Quiz 6
  • Lesson 6 Discussion
  • HW 3
8Project Formation Week
  • Project Preliminary Proposal
9Lesson 7: Water Power (Hydro, Tidal & Wave)
  • Quiz 7
  • Lesson 7 Discussion
10Lesson 8: Geothermal Energy
  • Quiz 8
  • Lesson 8 Discussion
  • HW 4
11Lesson 9: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Buildings
  • Quiz 9
  • Lesson 9 Discussion
12Mid-term exam
  • Mid-term exam
13Lesson 10: Energy Storage
  • Quiz 10
  • Lesson 10 Discussion
  • HW 5
Finals WeekFinal Team Project
  • Final Team Project
Final Exam