Why this course?

This online-training course is intended to provide deeper knowledge of energy’s relationship to sustainable development and how delivery of clean, affordable energy services, wise management of energy resources, and the leveraging of technological and institutional energy related opportunities can serve as instruments to reach that goal. Participants will learn of sustainable energy options, available modes of implementation, local resources required, and the policy and institutional conditions required to operationalise such options.

Why an online energy course?
Energy is related to the multidimensional aspects of sustainable development: the social, economic and environmental perspectives. Access to modern energy services is a prerequisite for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a result, development specialists need a comprehensive understanding of the energy/development nexus – not only how energy systems work but also the impact of energy services on other development issues such as income, health and environment.

At the present time, courses tailored to the demands of those who are working on energy issues as a means for development do not exist. Too often, existing courses deal only with technical aspects of energy issues and do not adequately examine their broader implications for sustainable development. Further, there is an increasing need to reach out to a wider range of development actors, especially in developing countries. This need is largely unmet. This course is intended to address the gaps outlined. It will provide a comprehensive coverage on the issues of how energy affects sustainable development. The online format of the course is intended to offer flexibility and reach to those who would have not otherwise been able to take advantage of existing courses.

Target audience
The target audience encompasses development specialists from government, NGOs, multilateral and bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) organisations, as well as actors involved in the private sector who are engaged in energy and development activities in developing countries. Participants will typically come from a range of educational and professional backgrounds and will have some years of practical experience. The target audience is broader than merely energy-field experts. It also includes development professionals who may have some insight of energy-related issues but desire a more comprehensive understanding of energy’s role within sustainable development.

The key outcome from this course will be improved understanding of the relationship between energy systems and sustainable development. Upon completion, participants will have significant capacity to conceptualize energy activities – and their link to development issues on the ground. Such skills will allow them to better overcome development challenges encountered in their daily work, and will help build consensus on how energy can be used effectively as a tool for sustainable development. The course will help participants promote energy efficiency and renewables, encourage technologies that offer alternatives for clean and safe energy supply and use, and help find ways for developing countries to avoid the wasteful and destructive stages that have characterised industrialisation in the past. In addition, a formal European university level certification will be granted for requisite European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits.