Energy Transition

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The main objectives of this course is to introduce energy transition and sustainable energy sources, and to provide the students with an understanding of key cross-disciplinary challenges related to the transition towards a low CO2-emission society. The course directly addresses UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 7 ("Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all"). It will give the students knowledge and perspectives to relate to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of how we can limit the ongoing climate change while transitioning to a more sustainable energy supply.


The course includes lectures from ca 30 different specialists. They cover different energy sources (nuclear power, solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, bioenergy, geothermal power, coal, oil and gas), energy storage (including battery technology and hydrogen production), need for minerals, technologies for removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, CO2 capture and storage, life cycle analysis, energy efficiency, information source evaluation, climate knowledge (including the importance of ocean currents and consequences for coastal areas), decision making knowledge (including psychology and the use of mathematical models), synergy / conflicts with other SDGs, economical and legal issues, social science theories of energy transition, system dynamics, political science and ethics. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall have knowledge on a variety of possible actions for reduction of the atmospheric CO2 content, as well as knowledge of conditions for, and possible consequences of, different measures for advancing the transition towards a low-carbon society.


The student can

  • understand the key drivers that motivate the transition to a sustainable low-carbon energy supply
  • know the science and technology behind different sustainable energy resources
  • understand the key technological and societal challenges related to energy transition


The student can

  • assess the advantages and limitations associated with an accelerated use of a variety of sustainable energy sources
  • evaluate the most important societal, legal, financial and political challenges related to energy transition
  • balance the most important consequences of a transition towards a low emission society

General competence

The student can

  • demonstrate the ability of critical thinking based on scientifically based reasoning
  • show cross-disciplinary awareness through discussions on the interaction between science, society and technology in the transition towards a low-carbon society
  • communicate and debate the scientific, technological and societal challenges related to energy transition

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Basic knowledge in natural sciences is an advantage, but it is not required. An introduction to relevant disciplines will be given during the course.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
5 credits for SDG607
Access to the Course
The course is offered to students at UoB
Teaching and learning methods

The course is given throughout the fall semester. It is based on the `flipped classroom¿ approach, which implies that students familiarize themselves with new material (in the form of pre-recorded lectures) before the classroom sessions, and where the time in the classrooms is used for group work/discussions and reflections.

A 3-day excursion to central players within the energy transition in the Bergen area will take place at the start of the semester.

The course includes the writing of reports and a group presentation of selected topics from the course. The format of the presentation is compulsory, and can e.g. be a poster, movie, of a report from an opinion poll. The presentations will be given at a mini-seminar at the end of the course.

Organized teaching/learning activities: 4 hours per week for 12 weeks + watching of pre-recorded lectures before the classroom activities.

Mandatory hand-ins: 3

Mini-symposium: 1 full day

Excursion: 3 full days

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Attendance to at least 80 % of the learning activities is recuired,
Forms of Assessment

Portfolio assessment

A poster, movie or other form of presentation (30 % of total grade)

Written and presented report (70 % of total grade)

Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Reading List
Pre-recorded videos, possibly supplement with handed out literature.
Course Evaluation
Then students shall evaluate the teaching in accordance with the quality control system of the institute and the UiB.