UNIK4800 – Renewable Energy: science and technology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Renewable energy can be defined as energy generated from natural sources. This course will give an overview of the main scientific principles and technologies related to harnessing and conversion of the earth´s renewable energy sources, combined with a wide range of case studies, laboratory activities and excursions at the research institutes in Kjeller. Among the topics: indirect uses of solar energy (wind and hydroelectric power, bioenergy); non-solar renewable energy (tidal power, geothermal energy); integration into the grid system; sustainability of renewable energy, future prospects and policies scenario.

Learning outcome

This course aims to give students the foundation to:

  • Describe the various renewable energy sources and the possible conversion paths to a useful form of energy; learn the principles of the heat engine cycle.
  • Describe the aerodynamics of wind turbines and calculate their power, energy production and the effect of the blade design; discuss the siting of turbines in relation to their output and their environmental impact.
  • Explain the principles of hydroelectricity; describe how biomass is currently used as a source of energy, its future potential both in providing energy and in producing alternative fuels.
  • Explain the physical principles of wave energy, the generation of tides and how to harness their power; describe the physics of geothermal resources, the thermal gradient and heat flow in sedimentary basins.
  • Discuss the integration of intermittent renewable electricity into the grid system through laboratory exercises; compare the efficiency of different energy storage solutions (e.g. batteries, fuel cell and hydrogen storage); review the latest advancement in the materials development applied to renewable energy.
  • Analyze the sustainability of renewable energy, the carbon abatement policies, the principles of CO2 capture and storage; gain an interdisciplinary approach to the issues raised by renewable energy; discuss how the risks and benefits of a particular strategy can be assessed.


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Lectures and exercises. Visits and laboratory experiences in the research facilities of the technology park in Kjeller. A compulsory essay which has to be approved before you can enter the final examination.


During the course, the students will present a compulsory essay on a chosen energy topic which has to be approved before entering the final examination. This will be graded either as "pass" or "failure". A final oral examination, written if many students, will be held and graded A to F, F is failure.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language