Climate Change and Energy Policy (878N1)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This course introduces you to the key concepts, theories, issues, challenges and debates within climate change and energy policy, together with the main social science approaches to this multifaceted subject. Primary emphasis will be given to economic concepts and techniques, but the course will also include insights from innovation studies and political science. The focus throughout will be the opportunities, challenges and constraints associated with making the transition to a low carbon energy system.

Key themes will include the physical characteristics of fossil and renewable energy resources, the process of transition and change in energy systems, the synergies and tensions between sustainability and other policy objectives, and both the rationales for and the limits to public policy intervention.

Substantive issues to be covered include: energy flows, technologies, trends and options; perspectives on energy security; resource depletion and `peak oil'; energy market liberalisation; the regulation of network industries; innovation in energy systems; carbon/energy taxation and green fiscal reform; carbon emissions trading at the national and international level; policy support for renewable energy; the economics of energy efficiency; the `rebound effect' from energy efficiency improvements; and energy use and carbon mitigation in the transport sector.

Most of the discussion and examples will relate to OECD countries, but one lecture will cover energy policy in developing countries.

Relevant analytical techniques such as cost benefit analysis, decomposition analysis and energy modelling will also be briefly introduced.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 256 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Courses

This module is offered on the following courses: