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Free Online Courses on Sustainable Energy

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Free Online Sustainable Energy Courses

I was delighted to come across a number of Online Learning Units provided by the Open University in the UK.

The ones listed here focus on the subject of Sustainable Energy. Follow the heading links to check out the Course Notes for each one. The Units are…

  • An Introduction to Sustainable Energy
  • Why Sustainable Energy Matters
  • Earth’s Physical Resources: Petroleum
  • Living Without Oil
  • Biofuels


Enjoy these FREE Online Courses on Sustainable Energy.

For further information on these free online courses, click on the subject headings when you click

An Introduction to Sustainable Energy

  • Time: 3 hours
  • Level: Introductory
  • The search for sustainable energy will dominate the twenty-first century. This unit provides an introductory overview of the present energy systems and takes a brief look at where the world may find energy in the future – cleaner use of fossil fuels or renewable energy sources?

Why Sustainable Energy Matters

  • Time: 9 hours
  • Level: Introductory
  • Access to safe, clean and sustainable energy supplies is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity during the twenty-first century. This unit will survey the world’s present energy systems and their sustainability problems, together with some of the possible solutions to those problems and how these might emerge in practice.

Earth’s Physical Resources: Petroleum

  • Time: 12 hours
  • Level: Intermediate
  • The discovery of of the world’s first major underground oilfield in Pennsylvania, USA in 1859 sparked the continuing era of the world’s reliance on cheap energy from oil and gas. This unit begins by examining the geological characteristics of petroleum and the key ingredients necessary to form oil and gas accumulations. Then there is a brief description of industrial operations during the life cycle of an oilfield, starting with subsurface analysis and exploration drilling. The unit also highlights the role of safety and environmental management as an integral part of the petroleum business and concludes with a short review of global resources and non-conventional petroleum.

Living Without Oil

  • Time: 8 hours
  • Level: Introductory
  • Crude oil is currently our most important global source of energy. It is vital in the manufacture of many modern materials. But the world’s supply of oil is finite, its price is unstable and our reliance on oil has damaging environmental consequences. This unit explains why developing alternatives to oil is an essential and urgent task for humanity.


  • Time: 5 hours
  • Level: Introductory
  • This unit investigates what is meant by a biofuel and covers the advantages of using biofuels compared to fossil fuels. The different types of biofuel are explored, with particular emphasis on transport biofuels. Finally, the issue of whether biofuels are the complete answer to our future energy needs is considered.

I hope you enjoy these Free Online  Sustainable Energy Courses. Please let us know if you take any of the Courses, and how you found them.

About John Payne

john-payneJohn is the webmaster of Enviro Friendly World. Since 2001, he has been involved in the environmental field, educating, and helping popularise water and energy saving products such as water tanks, grey water systems, solar hot water, heat pumps and solar panels. He is a Commitee Member, and Past Vice President of the Australian Solar Energy Society (ACT). Join him on Google+