Energy Conversions and Environment

Subject description

The role of energy-sources exploitation in the development of human civilisation and society. A global view of the problems of energy supply, and the factors influencing energy-consumption needs. The basic physical laws of energy conversion and the technologies for primary energy-sources exploitation (trends in development). The environmental and social acceptability of energy-conversion technologies. Dilemmas and the technical problems of covering energy needs, applying renewable energy sources, and a comparison with classical technologies. The environmental impact of energy conversions – facts or fashion trends.  The rational use of energy vs. "saving regardless of costs". Strategic trends and regulations in the EU in the field of energy supply. Economic assessment of meeting energy needs (economic assessment of various solutions and energy-saving measures). Looking to the future.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The student will be given a broad overview of the problem of energy supply. This is important because wrong decisions, as a rule, have their origins in partial treatments of the problem. Assuming that the student is familiar with the basic characteristics, technical possibilities and economic indices of the exploitation of primary energy sources, the student will gain the knowledge needed to decide on the field of meeting energy needs on the micro and global levels.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminar work with individual students.

Expected study results

In general, a student will become familiar with the problems of the interdependence of the technical possibilities of energy supply, environmental impact, regulations, political decisions and civil movements.

In this context he will:

Understand the physical principles and the methods of primary energy sources conversion with conventional technology and with alternative technologies, learn about the physical and technical principles of energy transmission, get to know about energy transformation and transmission efficiency, he will learn about the environmental and economic parameters.  

As a precondition for understanding electrical energy power supply, a student will learn the operational characteristics of electrical power systems, end-users and the preconditions for its operation.

Basic sources and literature

  1. Sørensen, Bent: Renewable energy conversion, transmission, and storage, Amsterdam [etc.] : Elsevier/Academic Press, cop. 2007
  2. Twidell, John, Weir, Anthony D.: Renewable energy resources, London, New York : Taylor & Francis, 2006
  3. Plimer Ian: Heaven and Earth: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2009
  4. Group of authors: Future of the Electric Grid, 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Free access at
  5. David J. C. MacKay Sustainable Energy — without the hot air, electronic copy is provided, free, for personal use only. See Slovene version: Energetika.NET, Ljubljana 2013

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