Our global energy system is undergoing a transformation as we move away from fossil fuels towards (more) sustainable energy sources. This course will take a practical approach to exploring the energy transition by applying the theoretical knowledge gained in class to a real-life energy management project. Throughout the Block, we will draw upon the planning and development process for this project to explore the three pillars of sustainable development (environmental, social, and economic sustainability) as they relate to the development of energy systems of the future.
This course lays the foundational knowledge to support complex decision-making processes for environmental and human health protection. It introduces the students to the concepts of alternatives (e.g., energy projects) as targets of each assessment and multiple criteria as tools to assess their technical and sustainability performance.
Within the framework of Environmental and Socio-economic Impact Assessment (ESIA), we will explore positive and negative impacts of an energy project on multiple endpoints, such as biodiversity, air quality, climate, jobs, education, and landscape, among others. We will also study the debates regarding the energy transition, including the reasons behind local and national opposition to complex energy infrastructure. Lastly, we will “try to make sense” of all the information on the project to reach a final decision recommendation (i.e., YES/NO for the proposed implementation).
Identify and understand the various stakeholders that are involved in planning (large-scale) energy infrastructure
Understand (some of) the assessment strategies used to evaluate the sustainability of energy projects
Identify and analyse the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a real-life energy project
Develop performance tables that enable comparing alternatives using conflicting objectives
Effectively and efficiently study complex (scientific) reports
Work in a group setting to develop a co-constructive learning environment
Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2022-2023 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.
Mode of instruction
This course is project-based*, meaning that the same real-life energy project will be used throughout the whole block. Examples of previous projects include waste and biomass management, as well as wind power. Only one project will be used in one block, and which one will depend on the instructor. Otherwise, this course will consist of a mix of lectures, class discussions, workshops, and small group meetings with the instructor.
Each student will be part of a specific stakeholder group (e.g., industry, policy makers, academics, local community) that is currently engaged in the impacts assessment of the project. Each group will work during the block to learn and represent the views of the stakeholder it represents. Interaction sessions will then be organized among the stakeholder groups in order to (hopefully) culminate in a shared decision recommendation (i.e., YES/NO for the project implementation).
Discussion leader (17.5%, ongoing)
Group brief outline (10%, week 2)
Group complete brief (30%, week 5)
Project development hearing (7.5%, week 6/7)
Literature report (35%, week 8)
A reading list will be made available before the course starts. The following book is recommended and is available via the Leiden University library:
- Therivel, R., and G. Wood. 2017. Methods of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (4th ed.). Routledge, eISBN: 9781315626932.
Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator, email@example.com.
Dr. Marco Cinelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Aisa Manlosa, email TBC