June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Energy Conversion and Conservation
15.808.1 - 15.808.16
Introduction to Renewable Energy: An Interdisciplinary Approach Abstract
Energy security and climate change issues have precipitated growing awareness of and interest in renewable energy. This paper assesses the impact of renewable energy education in a first-year offering of an introductory interdisciplinary renewable energy course employing a quasi- experimental evaluation design. Findings from the study indicate that the course has a significant impact on student knowledge.
Public policy and engineering are a critical part of any cogent response to growing pressure felt
efficiency choices,4, 12 Students are proactive in demanding energy-efficient, small carbon footprint campuses.16, 18 Some survey evidence suggests that students may even be willing to pay increased fees for green buildings. College and university administrators facing the prospect of high and constantly rising energy costs2 are cognizant of the need to tie green building initiatives to increases in student fees for energy consumption. Community colleges, in particular, are responding to ues by developing green campuses and incorporating energy education into campus design and operations, and into student orientation efforts.7, 9 The rapid movement towards green energy campuses, however, must be accomplished with a sense of the real costs and benefits of the specific green energy initiatives developed.18, 19
Disciplinary change, student value shifts, and rising energy prices create a renewed opportunity to move U.S. public policy and engineering education in a mutually beneficial direction. Calls for change in the way energy education occurs are certainly not new, and earlier expressions of concern are a good source for our current reflection. Writing in 1973, the highly respected Republican legislator Howard Baker pondered the then-current oil supply shortage.4 He concluded that well-developed education programs linking environmental attitudes with energy use could have a strong and lasting impact on energy consumption behaviors in the country. In advocated the development of energy education programs to .3
price spike initiatives.18 Energy education initiatives tend to parallel the ebb and flow of energy prices; but as Dias et al. concluded5 in much the same way as the Club of Rome report17 --human progression towards increased economic development aimed at raising the standard of living of people in all parts of the world almost surely means that energy crises will not solve themselves.
Broadly-inclusive energy education is central to the accomplishment of sustainable development.14 Traditionally, engineering economics and political economy would focus
in energy education might diminish its appeal and limit impacts on student behavioral change. A
Simon, C., & Batchman, T., & Taylor, C. (2010, June), Introduction To Renewable Energy: An Interdisciplinary Approach Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16557
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