This specialization track is intended for those interested in both conventional and renewable energy policy, business, consulting, and management. The track provides a pragmatic, rigorous, and interdisciplinary understanding of energy from three perspectives: science and technology, policy, and business. Students graduating from this track might pursue careers in the private sector, state or federal agencies, or in the nonprofit sector doing work in numerous topic areas including energy storage, utilities, renewable procurement, public transportation, electric vehicles, energy finance, technology transfer, marketing, consulting, and reporting.

Course Requirements

This course provides an understanding of the basics of energy science and technologies. The course starts with energy concepts (such as 'power, 'resources,' and 'carriers'), and then takes a closer look at how the U.S. produces, transforms, and consumes energy. The course explores how energy use contributes to environmental challenges, notably climate change. The course then assesses alternatives, including renewables and energy efficiency, to better understand their potentials and limitations. No technical background is required. 

This course examines energy policy and the problem of sustainability through a variety of disciplinary and topical perspectives: historical, political, behavioral, techno-economic, and legal.  A critical approach is applied to arguments about energy policy processes, systems, and desired outcomes, with special emphasis on the role of renewable and sustainable energy in the changing global energy system.  

This course addresses the business of renewable and sustainable energy, including opportunities and challenges with renewable electricity, renewable transportation fuels, and energy efficiency. Topics include energy markets, opportunity identification, life cycle analysis, economic analysis, policy impacts, and project financing of sustainable and renewable energy business models.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy in Practice will seek to provide students with a sampling of the types of companies, people, and operations that are relevant to the renewable energy space. The course will be co-taught by a team of three energy professionals from the Boulder/Denver Area, each of whom come from a different background and offer a unique perspective on renewable and sustainable energy.

Sample Course Sequences

For student matriculating in August 2021