Energizing Europe: 21st-Century Renewable and Fossil Transformations

Freie Universität Berlin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Energizing Europe: 21st-Century Renewable and Fossil Transformations

  • Host University

    Freie Universität Berlin

  • Location

    Berlin, Germany

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Sustainability, European Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Today, the EU is a world leader in alternative energy efforts, most notably Germany?s Energiewende, which aims to replace coal and nuclear with wind and solar electricity. However, the EU is also interconnecting member-state gas, electrical and transport systems and unifying its energy markets aided by its new European Energy Union (EEU) ? whose formation was spurred by the Ukraine crisis and Europe?s heavy dependence on Russian gas. In Energizing Europe, we investigate how these transitions impact EU carbon emissions, resources, economy, society, and geopolitical security. We begin by surveying the EU's energy resources and infrastructure as compared to the USA's. We then study Europe´s energy transitions from medieval times through its 20th-century energy crises and wars. With this preparation, we begin a study of Europe?s intended 21st-century energy transitions. Topics include: (i.) Germany?s Energiewende, its technical, economic, and social challenges and its impact on EU neighbors; (ii.) problems of oil dependence and traffic congestion in the German and EU transport sectors; (iii.) EU natural gas policy ? external issues including dependence on Russia and pipelines through Ukraine, attempts to diversify with Norwegian, North African and Caspian gas and with US liquefied natural gas (LNG); and internal issues such as market unification, interconnection of pipelines, anti-monopoly efforts, fracking, and competition from cheap carbon-intensive coal; (iv.) finally, we examine German rejection of nuclear energy in light of risks and promises of next-generation reactors. Throughout, students follow current German, EU and related global energy affairs. This course should be of interest to students of both social and natural sciences.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations