Module Overview

Sustainable Energy Systems

This module will familiarize the learner with a selection of renewable energy technologies currently in use and at the research stage. It will also give the learner an appreciation of the issues, technical and economic, surrounding energy generation, distribution and consumption in Ireland and worldwide, and the place of renewable technologies in it.

Module Code

MEC4 H4019

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Energy resources & choice awareness strategies

Can a society convert to 100% renewable energies? Choice Awareness (CA) in the deployment of energy systems and resources (CA Theses & Strategies). Overview of primary energy supply. Renewable energy and renewable energy systems. Rationalisation of need for sustainable energy generation and consumption; why does the society aim at achieving sustainable energy solutions?

Energy flows, systems integration & sustainability

Energy & utility, energy flows & Sankey diagrams (key national and regional energy statistics). Energy utilisation rate & sustainability.

Tools for energy systems analysis

Description of energy systems analysis tools & application with emphasis on energy systems integration.

Characteristics of renewable energy generation

Energy infrastructure: centralized vs. decentralized systems; on-shore and off-shore systems, including; wind energy, ocean engines (wave, tidal, marine currents, salinity gradient and temperature gradient), biomass and bioenergy, solar power (photovoltaic cells & solar thermal energy), small hydroelectricity projects, geothermal energy, & fuel cells and hydrogen production. Energy conversion & environmental impacts.

Energy storage & renewable energy infrastructure

Power quality applications. Bridging power applications. Energy management applications. Regionally dispersed energy generation and grid management & relevance of smart grids.

Renewable energy policies, barriers, laws & regulations

Renewable energy promotion policies, legal & regulatory barriers. Price setting and quantity forcing policies. Transport biofuels & emission reduction. Distributed generation.

Energy consumption & energy conservation

Sustainable transport systems (electric transport, alternative liquid & gaseous transport fuels). Energy demand and supply modelling: simulation, econometric and environmental impacts, & other forms of parameter estimation. Input-output modelling and case study design of integrated systems. Design and analyses based on special purpose computer tools with capability for integration of renewable energy resources and/or conversion technologies for multiple energy systems/sectors (viz. electricity, heat, transport etc.). Renewable energy generation (micro-generation, co-generation & polygeneration systems). Intelligent metering.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)10