Fall 2008 Course Description

Policy Research Project

Section Title: Shaping the Energy Technology Transition
Instructor(s): Charles Groat
Course: P A 682A - Policy Research Project
Unique Number: 64680
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.106
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming and about the supply and national security issues surrounding conventional oil and gas, have led to a dramatic increase in interest in the transition to a low-carbon, renewable-energy-based energy economy. What technologies are available to support this transition? What natural resources does the next generation of technologies depend on? What policies, regulations, economic incentives, and life-style changes are necessary to make the transition? What roles can conservation and increases in energy efficiency play? How long will the transition take and what will be the role of our traditional hydrocarbon fuels during this period and beyond?

This policy research project will investigate these issues and develop a report describing transition pathway options. It will include case studies of evolving technologies from electric automobiles and solar power to the futuristic and sometimes controversial hot and cold fusion. The emphasis will be on identifying and proposing policies, based on technological and economic realities, that can guide a rational energy transition. Guest speakers from industry, government, academic, and non-governmental organizations will provide input. Students will research specific issues and travel to industrial facilities, national laboratories, demonstration sites, and agencies to gather information.

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