After Oil: The Promise and Problems of Alternative Energy (SCI2119.01)

John Bullock

It is conventional wisdom that we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in coming years. The reasons include not only the growing problem of climate change, but the simple fact that supplies are finite and new energy sources must be developed on scales large enough to meet the ever-increasing demand throughout the world. This course will begin with an examination of how fossil fuels are used and then shift to examine the leading candidates for alternative energy sources, including solar (both photovoltaic and thermal), geothermal, hydrogen, biomass, hydroelectric, wind, and nuclear. We will examine the chemistry and physics on which these energy sources are based, their relative advantages and disadvantages, and their potential for large-scale application. Student work will include readings from texts and journals, occasional review assignments, several written papers and a final project and presentation.


Learning Outcomes:
Students will
- understand how fossil fuels are used
- develop an understanding of basic physical concepts about energy, work and heat
- learn about the relative advantages and disadvantages of a range of alternative energy sources
- research one particular energy source, how it works, its potential and its limitations


Delivery Method: Remotely accessible
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 25
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Environment , Science and Mathematics , Remotely Accessible
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