Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

10 Summary

To sum up this first week, you have:

  • briefly described the historical evolution of renewable energy sources
  • described the key characteristics of a ‘sustainable’ energy source and outlined some basic energy principles and terminology, along with some definitions of ‘renewable energy’, explaining that the primary source of nearly all forms of renewable energy is the Sun
  • explained the differences between primary energy, delivered energy and useful energy, and gave data on world energy consumption per person, plus some statistics on total world energy consumption and the proportion contributed by renewables
  • looked at the UK and the contributions of renewables to delivered energy in all forms, and to electricity in particular
  • looked briefly at climate change and the contribution to global warming that is being made by the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion
  • overviewed renewable energy sources, starting with direct solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaics, followed by indirect solar sources – biofuels, hydropower, wind and wave energy
  • looked briefly at UK and European targets for the contributions of renewable energy to be achieved by 2020 and by 2030, including projections of the potential renewable contributions to electricity, heat and transport fuel needs
  • looked at a case study describing Scotland’s ambitious plans for a major expansion of its renewable energy supplies over the coming decade.

You can now go to Week 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

RENBOC_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371