Energy Transition

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course is part of UiB's further education offer in collaboration with UiB-Videre. The course is offered to external course participants without study affiliation with UiB. Information about course dates and admission information can be found here:


UiB students who wish to participate in the course are referred to the sister course, SDG207, which is taught during the autumn semester.



The main objective of this course is to introduce the science of energy transition and sustainable energy sources, in light of the UN sustainable development agenda, and to provide the students with an understanding of key cross-diciplinary challenges related to the transition towards a low CO2-emission society. The course directly addresses UN Sustainable Development Goal 7, and will give the students perspectives to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of how we mitigate the ongoing changes in climate through a transition to a more sustainable energy supply.



The first part of the course focuses on explaining the drivers and motivations for a transition to a low-carbon society, which includes climate change, and the need to supply clean and sustainable energy globally. The second part of the course is focused on the scientific, technological and societal aspects of various sustainable energy sources, such as geothermal energy, offshore wind, solar power, hydropower, CO2 capture, storage and utilization, and the exploration for minerals.

To address these themes, the course will cover a wide range of disciplines relevant to energy transition and renewable energy sources, including earth science, climate science, biology, physics, political science, law, psychology, social sciences, nanotechnology, ethics, rhetoric and economics.

The course is fully online. The teaching consists of pre-recorded lectures in combination with four digital evening seminars. The course ends with a digital multiple-choice exam that can be completed online from home.

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
  • explain the science and technology behind different sustainable energy resources
  • understand the key scientific, technological and societal challenges related to energy transition



The student can

  • assess the advantages and limitations associated with a variety of sustainable energy resources
  • understand the societal, legal and financial challenges related to energy transition
  • explain the most important consequences of the transition towards a low emission society


General competence

The student can

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

ECTS Credits


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Basic knowledge in natural sciences is an advantage, but an introduction to relevant fields will be given during the course.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
5 ECTS: GEOV370 and 5 ECTS: SDG207.
Teaching and learning methods

Online lectures and three online seminars.

Organized eaching/learning activities:

20 x 2 hrs online lectures (pre-recorded - can be watched when it suits each candidate)

3 x 2 hrs online evening seminars (fixed time)

Forms of Assessment
Digital written take-home exam (multiple choice).
Grading Scale
for course assessment: pass/fail grading is used.
Assessment Semester
Assessment is given shortly after teaching ends. Assessment is given in both spring- and autumn semester. 
Reading List
No reading list.
Course Evaluation
The course will be evauated by the students in accordance with the quality assirance system at UiB and the department.
Examination Support Material
No restrictions.
Programme Committee
The programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.