Accueil > Decarbonisation scenarios and renewable energy sources


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This interdisciplinary course addresses the issue of Decarbonization of energy systems and the potential future role of Renewable Energy Sources from a technological, economic and policy perspective. Expectations on the future role of renewable sources of energy are very high, but are scenarios of decarbonisation realistic? This course will review the promises and pitfalls of individual renewable energy sources alternatives and their integration in energy systems, in view of allowing full critical understanding of the conditions under which these may come to play a truly important role in global energy supplies. Objective of the course: To get a good understanding of the state of the art and the expected development of Renewable Energy Sources and their implementation potential to contribute to decarbonization scenarios as well as of the challenges and opportunities of different Renewable Energy Sources for their integration in energy systems. The Course “Decarbonisation scenarios and Renewable Energy Sources” will address, among others, the following topics: 1) Climate Change issues and decarbonisation scenarios: why and how to decarbonize ; 2) The role of energy efficiency in decarbonization ; 3) Renewable energy sources: understanding how they work, their pros and cons: - Solar: Photovoltaic (PV), Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), solar heat, etc. ; - Wind turbines ; - Hydroelectricity: river-run, storage, pumping-storage plants, tidal and wave, etc. ; - Biomass and bio-fuels ; 4) Challenges and opportunities of renewable energy sources : - RES integration into electricity grids ; - Different implementation policies: pros and cons ; - Future schemes and special initiatives such EC's Decarbonization Roadmap, the Nordic Countries Carbon Nuclear Scenario, Desertec, Masdar City, etc. ; 5) Decarbonisation scenarios and Renewable energy pathways (IEA, EREC, Greenpeace, Eurelectric, EC, etc.


HAFNER, Manfred (Economiste et Professeur)

Pedagogical format

The Course will be organized in an interactive and flexible manner. Before and after each class specific reading assignments will be sent out by email in order to prepare for the next lecture and to deepen the material covered in the previous lecture.

Course validation

The course evaluation will consist of ongoing active and intelligent class participation, Mid-Term and a Final Exam. Exam questions will consist both of some questions allowing to evaluate understanding of some major concepts, as well as some questions allowing to evaluate the ability to apply the material learned to real-life questions (for example advising a policy maker or a CEO of a company on a specific problem). In the evaluation, conciseness and precision of the answers to the questions asked will be relevant. Mid-Term and Final exam grade will contribute each by 40% of the final grade, while active and intelligent class-participation will contribute by 20% of the final grade.


Students are expected to regularly do the assigned readings. After every lecture, the Professor will send out an email assigning specific readings to deepen the topic of the lecture and to assign readings to prepare for the next class. The readings are complementary to the lectures.

Required reading

  • World Bank 2012: Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 °C Warmer World Must be Avoided
  • IEA World Energy Outlook 2015, Chapters 2, 8, 9 and 10
  • IEA 2015 Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015
  • IEA 2015 Renewable energy 2015. Medium-term market report
  • IEA 2015 IEA energy technology perspectives 2015