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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Energy Policy and Politics (PGSP11427)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryIntroduction to Energy Policy and Politics provides an overview of contemporary societal and policy debates around key energy technologies which are shaping the low carbon energy future. It covers a range of primary energy forms, conversion systems, end use, infrastructure networks, and how they are embedded in wider social and political systems. It deploys and critically reflects on a variety of perspectives from social science disciplines, in particular the interdisciplinary field of science, technology and innovation studies.
Course description The lectures will be organised around case studies which highlight in different ways the interrelationships between technology, society, and economy, and the contested and politicised nature of energy system transformation:
┐ Renewable energy and the political economy of policy design and implementation
┐ Perspectives on the role of gas in a low carbon future
┐ Innovations in end use technologies and ┐smarter┐ demand
Students will be introduced to relevant concepts and frameworks from the science, technology and innovation studies (STIS) field, such as the social construction of technical Systems and innovation systems, in order to interrogate these different cases.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an understanding of key policy and societal debates shaping a range of technologies relevant to the low carbon and sustainable energy systems
  2. Can critically evaluate contributions to debates on energy technology issues, and decisions on them
  3. Have an understanding of relevant concepts from Science, Technology and Innovation Studies and their application to energy technology policy debates
  4. Have developed their skills in finding and using arguments and information; in critically evaluating such material; and in essay writing.
Reading List
BICKERSTAFF, K., LORENZONI, I., PIDGEON, N. F., POORTINGA, W. & SIMMONS, P. 2008. Reframing nuclear power in the UK energy debate: nuclear power, climate change mitigation and radioactive waste. Public Understanding of Science, 17, 145-169.

BRADSHAW, M., BRIDGE, G., BOUZAROVSKI, S., WATSON, J. & DUTTON, J. 2014. The UK┐s Global Gas Challenge. UK Energy Research Centre.

MCDOWALL, W., EKINS, P., RADO┐EVI┐, S. & ZHANG, L.-Y. 2013. The development of wind power in China, Europe and the USA: how have policies and innovation system activities co-evolved? Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 25, 163-185.

SMITH, A., KERN, F., RAVEN, R. & VERHEES, B. 2014. Spaces for sustainable innovation: Solar photovoltaic electricity in the UK. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 81.

STRENGERS, Y. 2013. Imagining the Smart Utopia. Smart Energy Technologies in Everyday life: Smart Utopia? : Palgrave Macmillan.

WINSKEL, M. & RADCLIFFE, J. 2014. The rise of accelerated energy innovation and its implications for sustainable innovation studies: a UK perspective. Science and Technology Studies, 27, 8-33.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ronan Bolton
Tel: (0131 6)50 6394
Course secretaryMiss Jade Birkin
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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