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Planning future energy system for sustainability

Focus: Electrical Engineering

Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require systemic transformations to achieve net zero emissions by around 2050. The agreement aims to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C, pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C, boost the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and make finance flows consistent with a low greenhouse gasGHG emission and climate-resilient development pathways.
Meeting either target will require a massive reduction of GHG emissions within the next decade. Drawing on model emissions trajectories with no or limited temperature overshoot, the IPCC notes that global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions would need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5°C or around 25% by 2030 for 2°C (IPCC 2018).
A net zero carbon economy is technically possible. Academics, think tanks, governments and international agencies have studied this question for years and concur that action on four fronts is needed (Clarke et al 2014, Fay et al 2015):
1. Produce zero carbon electricity (e.g. massive rollout of renewable energy combined with grid flexibility)
2. Undertake massive electrification (e.g. using electric vehicles, motors, heat pumps and boilers and cookstoves), and where not possible, switch to other carbon-free fuels (e.g. hydrogen or sustainably produced biofuels)
3. Increase the share of public and non-motorized transportation in total mobility and reduce demand for transport
4. Preserve and regenerate natural carbon sinks, e.g. by reducing deforestation, and using reforestation and restoration of other carbon-rich ecosystems
The energy sector, which includes the electricy, transporte, and industry, is largely responsible for global GHG emissions. In this course, we will study how to tackle the systematic planning of future energy system. We will become familiar with best practices for planning, tools for developing decarbonization pathways. The course will be based on the experience in Costa Rica, one of the leading countries in fighting climate change in the world.
Each module is composed of 2 hours, thus a 4-hour course. As dealing with general concepts, that is open to Graduate and Undergraduates, as well as to anyone interested in participating and discuss the topic.
Also, this course is not restricted to but can be of interest to the following field of knowledge: Engineering, Economics, Computing.

Professor: Jairo Quirós-Tortós (University of Costa Rica – UCR) and Bruno Henriques Dias (UFJF)

Language: English

Mode of instruction: online

Courseload: 4 hours

Date&Time: July 23 and July 30, 10am-12pm

Target audience: undergraduate and graduate

Spots available: 95

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): 

SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 13 – Climate Action