CRE 402 - Wind Energy
This course provides a historical overview of wind energy. It covers basic aerodynamics and technical components of wind turbines, as well wind turbine installations from the planning stage to their activation. Additionally, this course describes current programs and policies which promote the integration of renewable energy sources into existing energy portfolios.
Market shares of renewable energy technologies have grown dramatically over the past few years. In 2008, the global wind energy capacity increased by almost 30 percent, and in the European Union, renewable energy technologies provided the majority of newly installed power generation capacity, with wind supplying the largest share (Global Wind Report 2008). Nevertheless, wind power is not without its drawbacks and studying its many aspects is important to understand benefits and limitations of this technology. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach and covers the important factors of the wind energy sector. The first part of this course puts wind power into an historical perspective and provides the technical background of wind energy. The second part examines the political, social, and economical aspects of wind power. Reference: Global Wind Energy Council (2009).
The course is divided into 10 modules, one module per week, plus two reading weeks after weeks 3 and 6. The course week starts on Tuesday and ends on Monday night at midnight. There are three essential parts to each module. 1. The weekly module document, which is an online guide to the course material to be covered that week. This document is available in the Course Documents link. 2. The required readings, which are referred to in the weekly module document. Links to all online readings are provided in the weekly module document. 3. The discussion forum, to which you are expected to contribute each week. There may be additional readings required for the topic of the discussion forum. Generally, the discussion forum for a given week relates to the material covered in the module from the previous week. I.e. the discussion forum lags behind the modules by one week. E.g. the topic of Module 2 will be discussed in the forum of week 3. Further, there are four assignments (weeks 2, 2nd reading week, 9, and 10) and one midterm exam (week 5). All assignments are due at the end of the week, that is Monday at midnight (11:59 pm Toronto time). Please upload the requested documents before or at that time to the submission link in the Assignment area. The midterm is a 24-hour take-home exam from Saturday 8 pm to Sunday 8 pm at the end of week 5. Additionally, there will be three synchronous live chats that will occur at scheduled times and provide the opportunity for the class to meet online together to review questions related to the readings, and to provide a more informal basis to discuss course material.
This is an interdisciplinary course that balances the scientific aspects of wind energy with social, economic, and political ones. Wind energy has been used for centuries for irrigation and milling purposes, but today, its main application is the generation of electricity. The first part of the course provides an overview over the development of wind energy from its origins until today and examines various applications of wind mills and turbines in use today. Further, it covers the underlying physics of wind power in a concise and comprehensive way. The second part of the course discusses ecological and economic aspects of wind energy, as well as political support mechanisms for renewable energy technologies. It illustrates and compares policies worldwide based on case studies and examines the economic competitiveness of wind energy in today’s energy markets.
This course aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the many different aspects of wind energy. The ultimate goal of this course is to give student the necessary back-ground knowledge to evaluate wind power projects in an informed and unbiased manner. Through course readings, discussions, and assignments, students will become familiar with important historical and current topics of the wind energy sector. By the end of this course, the students will:
- Understand the principles of wind energy
- Understand the benefits and limitations of wind energy
- Understand the basics of aerodynamics related to wind turbines
- Know the different applications of wind energy today and their functionalities
- Know how to identify “fantasy turbines” offered on the market
- Know the environmental impacts of wind energy and ways of mitigation
- Know the key organizations that study, regulate, and manage wind energy technologies
- Understand the structure of support policies and their functionalities
- Understand the barriers for renewable energies in today’s energy market
- Understand how wind turbines are integrated into the utility grid
- Understand the economics of wind turbines