This course provides a general understanding of the economics, engineering, and political aspects of energy transitions.
A major challenge tackling climate change is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the electricity sector. This course provides a general understanding of the ‘Energiewende’ in Germany and similar experiences in other countries as blueprints to combat global warming on a global scale.
There is no dispute that an average global temperature rise of more than 2°C above the pre-industrial levels would lead to severe environmental and economical costs for society. A major challenge in tackling global warming is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the electricity sector.
The ‘Energiewende’ in Germany proves that a decarbonization of the electricity sector in combination with a shutdown of all nuclear capacities is (technically) manageable and economically viable. Similar trends have happened in other countries. As a result, learning effects and reduced investment costs enable a market-driven worldwide roll-out of new technologies. Most countries have set renewable targets by now. The resulting new global renewable generation installations since 2014 consequently outnumbered the combined new fossil and nuclear capacities.
This course is suited for those interested in political, technical, and economical aspects of energy and resources.
Learning Goals & Syllabus
- Understanding energy transitions towards decarbonization on a local and global scale
- Understanding political decision-making processes
- Quantitative methods for assessment of policy decisions
- Working in a transdisciplinary environment
The syllabus of Summer University 2020 will be available soon! Please click here  to see the syllabus of 2019.
You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home University whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.
- Interactive classroom-based lectures and discussions
- Group work projects and presentations
- Quantitative modeling sessions using EXCEL
- Guest lectures e.g. from academia, NGOs, think tanks and politics
- Excursions to conventional (including coal mining) and renewable energy sites as well as industrial sites and start-ups
The general prerequisites of the TU Berlin Summer University are the following: at least one year of university experience + English level B2 or equivalent.
The course is intended for all participants who are studying or who have studied majors in engineering, economics or political sciences, and are currently/reached an advanced phase of their undergraduate or graduate/PhD studies.
Dr. Pao-Yu Oei 
Dipl.-Ing. Jens Weibezahn 
and guest speakers
(academic supervision: Prof. Dr. Christian von Hirschhausen)
The lecturers are research associates with the Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy (WIP) at TU Berlin. Pao-Yu Oei is also affiliated with DIW Berlin – German Institute for Economic Research and the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU).
Please direct questions about the course to the TU Berlin Summer University Team at: summeruniversity(at)tubs.de . We will answer your questions and direct specific queries regarding course content to the course lecturers where necessary.