We've selected a few courses that are good for starting your journey exploring energy. There are many more energy-related courses at Stanford, covering energy from a variety of perspectives. Reach out to our team if you'd like to discuss energy courses to take across campus!
Introduction to Energy:
Did you know that energy use is the number one contributor to climate change? Or how new technologies, policies, and behaviors – from rooftop solar to batteries to hydraulic fracturing – are changing the way we use energy? Take Understanding Energy and improve your ability to think critically and make decisions around the energy resources that keep our showers hot and drinks cold. Build your energy knowledge! Great course for getting started on exploring energy - covers all energy resources across the whole energy system.
Whole-systems thinking has yielded transformative insights about prospects for sustainability across a series of energy and environmental challenges. Taught by Amory Lovins, co-founder of Rocky Mountain Institute, this seminar will cover four decades of ground-breaking analysis and validated results that have transformed what is thought to be possible across multiple fields. Topics will include highly efficient buildings, vehicles, and industrial processes; winning the fossil fuel endgames; nuclear power and security; natural capitalism; distributed energy and resilience; and profitable climate protection.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
The built environment and the energy systems that meet its requirements is a product of decisions forged in a context of historical inequity produced by cultural, political, and economic forces expressed through decisions at individual and institutional levels. This interdisciplinary course will examine the imprint of systemic racial inequity in the U.S. that has produced a clean energy divide and a heritage of environmental injustice. Drawing on current events, students will also explore contemporary strategies that center equity in the quest for rapid technology transitions in the energy sector to address climate change, public health, national security, and community resilience.
Building bridges across the clean energy divide involves addressing barriers to participation. These barriers affect the pace of investment, especially for distributed energy solutions such as building energy upgrades, on-site solar, and transportation electrification. This course will explore innovative business models that are responsive to calls for equity and inclusion, and it will give special attention to California's ongoing clean energy finance rulemaking in the utility sector to open the clean energy economy for all.
Be part of a unique and intense six day course about extreme energy efficiency taking place during Spring Break at Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) Innovation Center in Basalt, Colorado.
Stanford Climate Ventures (SCV) is a unique project-based course that provides Stanford students with a platform and educational/experiential framework to develop, launch, and successfully build high-impact new clean-tech and climate-tech ventures.
These seminar courses are often open to students even if you're not enrolled - so take the course, or just attend those sessions that are interesting to you. It's a great way to learn more about these topics, and to connect with leading Stanford faculty or external experts!
The weekly Energy Seminar informs the Stanford community about a wide range of energy and climate change issues and perspectives. The audience includes: faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff from Stanford’s seven schools and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, as well as energy professionals from the community.
Interdisciplinary seminar with talks by researchers and practitioners in the fields of atmospheric science and renewable energy engineering. Addresses the causes of climate, air pollution, and weather problems and methods of addressing these problems through renewable and efficient energy systems.
A series of seminar and lectures focused on power engineering. Renowned researchers from universities and national labs will deliver bi-weekly seminars on the state of the art of power system engineering. Seminar topics may include: power system analysis and simulation, control and stability, new market mechanisms, computation challenges and solutions, detection and estimation, and the role of communications in the grid.
Carbon Dioxide and Methane Removal, Utilization, and Sequestration (EARTHSYS 308/ENERGY 308/ENVRES 295/ESS 308/ME 308)
This is a seminar on carbon dioxide and methane removal, utilization, and sequestration options, and their role in decarbonizing the global energy system. This course will cover topics including the global carbon balance, utilizing atmospheric carbon in engineered solutions, recycling and sequestering fossil-based carbon, and enhancing natural carbon sinks.
This is a seminar course on the hydrogen economy as a critical piece of the global energy transformation. This course will introduce the unique characteristics of hydrogen, its potential role in decarbonizing the global energy system, and how it compares to other alternative and complementary solutions. We will cover the main ideas/themes of how hydrogen is made, transported and stored, and used around the world through a series of lectures and guest speakers.
The course aims to equip the Stanford community with the knowledge and networks required to undertake significant future work on sustainable finance and investment. The course explores multiple disciplines of sustainable finance with talks by researchers associated with the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, Sustainable Finance Initiative and visiting speakers.
Want to go more in-depth? Check out the full list of energy courses here!