Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS)

Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS) Policy changes, technological advances, and an increased awareness of the world's resources are creating a growing need around the globe for advanced expertise in renewable and sustainability systems. There is an urgent need to prepare professionals who can serve as leaders of the emerging "green" economy.

Penn State's RESS programs deliver world-class, interdisciplinary education to professionals in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability that empowers them to lead the transformation of our nation's economy to a renewable, sustainable basis of operation. Options are available in Sustainability Management and Policy and Solar Energy. Much of the course content for the RESS program is available here as part of our Open Educational Resources.

Resource Description

Geography 431 is designed to further understanding of the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity. Develop awareness and appreciation of the perspectives about water as a precious resource, commodity, and sometimes hazard. Learn how and why water is distributed unevenly around the Earth. Examine how resource management decisions are strongly related to water availability, quantity, and quality.

Resource Description

EME 812 explores the main physical principles of core solar energy conversion systems, including direct power conversion photovoltaics, concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), and thermal conversion to electricity via concentrating solar power strategies (CSP). It also covers the fundamentals of enabling technologies such as light concentration, solar tracking, power conversion cycles, power conditioning and distribution.

Global Energy Enterprise

Credit: Lobbying 161689 by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Have you seen a Clean Coal baseball cap? In the challenge to meet soaring energy demand with limited resources, volatile issues like those related to the environment, national security and public health are often addressed outside of normal market transactions and are called externalities, or nonmarket factors. Stakeholders can act in resourceful ways to create a nonmarket environment that best serves their interest. A firm may challenge a law that makes it expensive or difficult to do business or compete with others, for example.

Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

Credit: Photovoltaic System by andreas160578 is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Are you interested in Solar Energy? Solar Resource Assessment and Economics explores the methods, economic criteria, and meteorological background for assessing the solar resource with respect to project development of solar energy conversion systems for stakeholders in a given locale. It provides students with an in-depth exploration of the physical qualities of the solar resource, estimation of the fractional contributions of irradiance to total demand, and economic assessment of the solar resource.

From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming

Credit: Blue Icebergs Under Cloudy Sky by Pixabay is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Human-caused climate change represents one of the great environmental challenges of our time. As it is inextricably linked with issues of energy policy, a familiarity with the fundamentals of climate change is critical for those looking to careers in the energy field. To appreciate the societal, environmental, and economic implications of policies governing greenhouse gas emissions, one must understand the basic underlying science. METEO 469 serves to lay down the fundamental scientific principles behind climate change and global warming.

Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation

Credit: Calculator by stevepb is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

EME 801 provides a broad introduction to global markets for crude oil and refined petroleum products, natural gas, and electric power. A major goal of the course is to help students understand how market design, market institutions, and regulatory structures affect firm-level decision-making in the energy industries and ultimately, how these decisions affect the functioning of energy markets and the prospects for alternative technologies.

Commercial Solar Electric Systems

Credit: Solarvoltaic System by OhWeh is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

Resource Description

AE 868 examines the theories and design practices of solar electric systems in the context of utility and commercial-scale applications. An important goal of the course is to equip solar professionals with skills to follow the impact of hardware trends in industry on feasibility, design, and the commissioning of such systems. Students will learn how to design solar electric systems as well as the processes required for permitting, construction, and commissioning.

Human Use of the Environment

Credit: Green 2558976 by StockSnap is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Geography 430 is an active, creative learning community focused around understanding the changing relationships between people and their environments, the causes and consequences of environmental degradation, strategies for building a more sustainable world, and the methods and approaches that scholars have used to understand human-environment interactions.