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.

Advanced Energy Policy

Credit: Solar Powered Landscape by Dennis Dimick is licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Resource Description

Energy policy is typically evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary. We can look to historical policies to understand how we've inherited the policies governing our energy use today. But looking backward only tells us part of the story. In the face of climate change, we need to look ahead and instead envision a more revolutionary change to our energy systems and the policies that govern them. This class takes you on that journey to energy policies past, present, and future.

Credit: Light Hands Bulb Bright 911919 by Ruben Rubio licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Are you prepared to find strategic opportunities for sustainability-driven innovation within your business or organization? This engaging course will prepare you to do just that. BA 850 will give you the tools and practical experience needed to discern consumer and organizational needs related to sustainability, to create unique offerings to meet sustainability needs, and to develop innovative processes necessary to test and refine sustainable solutions.

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.

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.

Resource Description

EME 807 overviews a wide range of contemporary technologies in the context of sustainability and examines metrics for their assessment. The course explores the main principles that guide modern science and technology towards sustainable solutions. It covers such topics as resource management technologies, waste and wastewater treatment, renewable energy technologies, high performance buildings and transportation systems, application of informatics and feedback to sustainable systems, and more.

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.

Sustainability and Non-Market Enterprise

Credit: White Windmill by fxxu is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

The primary goal of this course is to provide a toolset for characterizing and strategizing how non-market forces can shape current and future renewable energy markets. The course approaches the exploration and explanation of key concepts in renewable energy and sustainability non-market strategies through evidence-based examples. Main topics for the course include: a sociological approach to markets, renewable energy markets, non-market conditions, complex systems analysis, and renewable energy technology and business environments.