THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2020/2021

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

Postgraduate Course: Energy Policy and Politics (20 credits) (PGSP11132)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides a broad introduction to social and policy issues in energy, with the emphasis on important current topics, particularly in resource use, technological innovation and environmental impacts. It covers a range of primary energy forms, conversion systems, domains of use, problems and controversies. It deploys and critically reflects on a variety of perspectives from social science disciplines and from interdisciplinary fields like science and technology studies. It focusses particularly on the knowledge claims made about current and future energy provision and the knowledge used in evaluating options and making decisions on energy and environment matters. It develops some familiarity and experience with techniques and procedures used in policy analysis and formulation, decision-making and assessment.

Course description Energy systems are undergoing fundamental changes as societies seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst delivering secure and affordable energy to individuals and businesses. This course provides a broad introduction to contemporary social and policy issues in energy, with the emphasis on important current topics, particularly in resource use, technological innovation and environmental impacts. It covers a range of primary energy forms, conversion systems, domains of use, problems and controversies. It deploys and critically reflects on a variety of perspectives from social science disciplines and from interdisciplinary fields like science and technology studies. It focusses particularly on the knowledge claims made about current and future energy provision and the knowledge used in evaluating options and making decisions on energy and environment matters. It develops some familiarity and experience with techniques and procedures used in policy analysis and formulation, decision-making and assessment.

Outline content

Introduction & overview of global energy challenges

Socio-technical mapping of energy systems

Energy governance: the role of markets and forms of government intervention

Analysing uncertainties and developing long term energy scenarios

Multi-level governance: EU energy policy

Heat decarbonisation and urban energy

Policy for energy efficiency and demand reduction

The first two hours of each class will be a mixture of lectures, exercises, open discussions of readings, and other activities. Each class will include a short discussion on a current energy issue selected from suggestions supplied by the students. Please come to class with current news stories and ideas for issues you would like to discuss. Group work and other activities will be held in the last hour of the class (11 to 12). The group work is designed to provide students with the skills required to work as part of an interdisciplinary team on complex energy policy issues.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesnone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  112
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Due to limited space and resources students will not be permitted to audit (sit-in) on this course
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group Assignment:
Presentation 15%
Report (~3500 words) 35%

Essay (3500 words) 50%
Feedback The course organiser will provide written feedback on the group presentations which take place in the weeks prior to the report submission deadline. Students can also submit a draft essay and report plan for comment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a substantive knowledge and understanding of a selection of important policy and social issues in energy, and of the contending viewpoints and claims on these issues
  2. Identify and characterise key approaches to understanding and evaluating energy issues, and identify advantages, problems and implications of these approaches
  3. Identify, deploy and evaluate a selection of techniques and procedures used in energy policy analysis, decision-making and assessment and can critically evaluate contributions to the academic and public debates on energy issues, and decisions on them
  4. Apply these understandings and skills, and deploy some of these approaches, concepts and techniques, in analysing a new problem in energy policy, and in devising, evaluating and justifying options for intervention
  5. Have developed their skills in finding and using arguments and information; in critically evaluating such material; and in essay writing and seminar presentation.
Reading List
I Scrase & G MacKerron (eds.), Energy for the Future: a New Agenda, Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2009
C Mitchell, The Political Economy of Sustainable Energy, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2008
C Kuzemko, Energy Security-Climate Nexus: Institutional Change in the UK and Beyond, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
T Foxon, Transition pathways for a UK low carbon electricity future, Energy Policy, 52, pp.10-24, 2013
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsenergy,policy,politics,innovation
Contacts
Course organiserDr Ronan Bolton
Tel: (0131 6)50 6394
Email: Ronan.Bolton@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMr Dave Nicol
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485
Email: dave.nicol@ed.ac.uk
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