APS510: Innovative Technologies and Organizations in Global Energy Systems


Canada’s Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, speaks to APS510 students

Course Overview

High carbon-emitting fossil fuel-based energy technologies (which meet roughly 80% of the global energy demand) have significant impacts on climate change. As a response to that, strategies like replacing high carbon-emitting technologies with renewable sectors are getting traction; however, social and economic adaptation to those approaches are not easy and prompted major international debates over ‘what’ could be done and ‘how’! The good news is, innovations in renewable energy sectors grew substantially in the last decade and influencing the energy markets toward significant structural reforms. Nonetheless, decarbonization policies and transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy would face significant technological, economic, and political challenges in the coming decades.

In these circumstances, the aim of APS 510 is to understand the social, economic, and environmental challenges of the global energy policies and transition strategies to renewable power generation. Together, we will explore state-of-the-art energy innovations in different economies by startups, non-profit, and government organizations. The course contents will not only focus on technological innovations but also on financial and systemic innovations such as – how M-Kopa is utilizing the ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ model to provide solar energy to rural, off-the-grid homes. Similar in-depth case studies and invited professional talks will deliver real-world insights of renewable and clean energy entrepreneurship, their business models and funding opportunities, challenges, and limitations.

By the end of this course, students are expected to understand the current state of global energy systems and policies, innovations and funding opportunities for clean energy technology and to be able to adopt a creative and critical-thinking mindset to contribute to innovations and organizations in global energy systems.

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