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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Our Energy Future by University of California San Diego

1,158 ratings

About the Course

This course is designed to introduce students to the issues of energy in the 21st century – including food and fuels – which are inseparably linked – and will discuss energy production and utilization from the biology, engineering, economics, climate science, and social science perspectives. This course will cover the current production and utilization of energy, as well as the consequences of this use, examining finite fossil energy reserves, how food and energy are linked, impacts on the environment and climate, and the social and economic impacts of our present energy and food production and use. After the introductory lectures, we will examine the emerging field of sustainable energy, fuel and food production, emphasizing the importance of developing energy efficient and sustainable methods of production, and how these new technologies can contribute to replacing the diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, and reduce the consequences of carbon dioxide release into the environment. This course will also cover the importance of creating a sustainable energy future for all societies including those of the developing world. Lectures will be prepared and delivered by leading UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography faculty and industry professionals across these areas of expertise....

Top reviews


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very knowledgeable course , you can understand various techniques of conservation of energy sources and safe earth from big issues like global warming etc .


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It was a very good course. A lot of topics very important to understand and know about energy, renewables and others issues related to this topic. Thanks

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1 - 25 of 313 Reviews for Our Energy Future

By Olve M

Jun 9, 2019

Good course, but would love an updated version. A 2019 version of this course would really be a winner, and I would love to take it again.

By Aleksandra V

Nov 21, 2019

An excellent course! Probably the only disadvantage I could mention is that the course was created around 2013 (which you have to figure out from the lectures, when they talk about 2017 as future), and, being dedicated to such a rapidly changing field, it grows old relatively quick. But that is by no means its creators' fault, of course. They did an outstanding job, and I'd like to thank them all for it. The course is organised very wisely, divided into topics and followed by tests. Challenging peer-graded assignments are also included. As for the subject, when I started the course, I had no idea that there is such a lot to know about energy, so many energy sources and so many ways to handle them. The 9 weeks of the course cover most of them to a decent extent - although, to my taste, the algae-part was a bit too in favor (that is, it was quite detailed, including some biology above average non-biologist level), which, I fear, resulted in my getting it all messed up in my head. But really interesting, too. During some lectures I felt that they were actually focused on America rather than on all of us (which is not a surprise, given that it's an American course), and, of course, degrees of F, gallons, pounds, miles and other cruel things annoyed the hell out of me! :) But all in all, it was a very informative and highly useful course, and I'm glad I decided to take it.

By Chase S

Jan 9, 2020

Much of the data is from 2011-2013. It's talking about problems that have already been solved, with numbers that are outdated. You can't use this to get anything but historical knowledge

By Vibushan A

Apr 3, 2020

First and Foremost, The knowledge and connections I've made from this experience have helped me better understand the current energy technology landscape (including its effects on our environment and society) and hopefully it guides me to excel in my career by making wise energy related decisions. Secondly, the course is beautifully structured and is so captivating. Thanks for developing this course. It was a wonderful experience overall. Thanks!

By David D

Nov 26, 2015

This is an outstanding course which covers such a wide range of energies including wind solar, and a large variety of bio-fuels. I was impressed with the selection of different presenters who were all specialists in their field. The level of technical detail is appropriate for a layman while being quite in depth. In fact in some cases one might feel overwhelmed but this was intended in order to give a good feeling of the innovative technologies, problems and futures. It was good to review the well known energy sources like nuclear, hydro, fracking, corn ethanol, etc, but I would say most people are unaware of all these alternative sources of energy such as from various plants, algae to make bio-fuels or electricity.

The questionnaires were both helpful in forcing one to pay sufficient attention even if sometimes they are near impossible to get 20 on 20. Also I thought the interviews were especially well prepared and helpful to recall the basic material presented. Bravo

By Juan

Oct 30, 2016

Great learning experience! Easy way to get an idea of the work that is being done to better our lives in the future in terms of energy. Very interesting lectures and would highly recommend it.

By Ankit M

Sep 29, 2016

Very informative course even for someone with a prior knowledge in a particular segment in renewable energy. Covers diverse energy resources along with economic, and environmental considerations.

By vinod p

Jan 28, 2018

This course is old. Many of the information provided are outdated due to fast changes happening in energy sector.

By Michael B

Dec 29, 2016

This class was bizarre. Some of the content and lecturers was fantastic, but some lecturers were quite dull and some lectures and quizzes were poorly written and misleading. The class was also strangely designed and executed: the amount of content per week varied significantly; the vast majority of the content was in a very specific energy sector (biofuels) and other key sectors were almost entirely overlooked; it also seems like the content is already a few years old. It was more of a description of UCSD's research than of the "future of the energy".

By Abang A

Jan 15, 2016

This is a great course on energy technologies, with quite in-depth lectures on the technologies, current research, future prospect and delivered by experts in their field of study. The assignments were also interesting, and tailored to inspire what you can do to be more energy efficient and explore your local surroundings on existing or future initiatives on sustainability. I'd recommend this course to anyone interested to know the current and future energy and renewable technologies, or aspiring researchers to explore and zoom in their field of interest. Great job!

By Agatha S

Sep 28, 2015

I took this class out of curiosity about our energy future and was pleasantly surprised! There were numerous teachers providing lectures on their expertise and the information provided for this course went explaining how we got to today, what we are doing today to energy in the future. It really opened my eyes as to what can be done now, and what is possible in the future. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone with a curiosity in energy! If you are taking this course for marks, take notes during the lectures. Awesome course!

By Zulfiqar A

Oct 21, 2018

Learned and enjoyed the course very much. Thanks to Dr Mayfield for creating such a course.

It really captures most of Energy future. The breakdown of components of this course are very well choosen. It includes everything from energy sources, biofuels, smart grids, social and economic issues and finally energy and its impact on climate change.

I will encourage all Energy students to enroll in this course, highly recommended.

-Zulfiqar Ali (Mechanical Engineer)

By Naresh R

Jul 30, 2020

Really enjoyed this course, the second lectures with Stephen Mayfield asking Q's is also really helpful. However it would be nice if they re-vamped the course to make it more relevant to this year as this course was made in 2013.

By Mallika J

Apr 21, 2020

i find this course very very knowledgeable and the way it was delivered was in a very understanding way.i thank all the speakers and all the professors for bringing this course on this platform. i learnt and understood about new avenues in the energy sector,its use and its usage around the world . about the energy crops their production and most important renewable source of energy will going to take over the NR . all scientist are doing noble work in theirs fields and helping to save our earth for degradation. i m blessed to listen to the work and researches of all the professors of UCSD . i look forward to once again take such course in future.thank you

By Heng W C

Jul 21, 2020

The course was presented in a easily followed manner whereby we are eased into the general issues of energy before diving deep into the mechanics behind it. The structure of lecture followed by Q&A was especially interesting as it allows for a further understanding of the topics discussed and sometimes even clear doubts we had in the lecture! Overall, very much recommended to those interested in the study of energy!

By Adarsh

Nov 19, 2016

The course provides a detailed account on the current state of the global energy demands, environment and climate. The lectures also discuss the the steps being taken to improve current state and the future technologies that can be adopted as a holistic solution.

It is important that we try to find the silver bullet but not forget to use the silver bucks in the meantime :)

By Yaroslav K

Feb 11, 2018

Excellent and extremely well-given course about the energy and it's enormous ifluence on each of us - Earth inhabitants. About what each of us can do to solve global energy, water and climate global problems, about what's is done in each of those domains and huge work that needs to be done in order for our grandchildren to live OK on this plante. Big thanks!!!

By Thaney A

May 7, 2017

Excellent course!!!. Although sometimes I felt some of the lectures were given a little bit slowly, I managed to end it. I really liked that the lectures were focused mainly on the biological alternatives for renewable energy and clean technologies. I'm interested in the biofuels field so this course definitely gave me quite a big perspective on the field.

By Daria B

Apr 23, 2021

I find this course excellent. If gives one a rather complete but still concise information of the various topics that are crucial to understand the challenges of the energy transition era. It will stimulate the student to make extra researches and possible as a bonus make one more involved in the eco-friendly style of life

By Sebastian a

Dec 16, 2015

I appreciate the fact that the course addressed not only the technical details of each of the most promising technologies that are being developed in the energy sector but also the socioeconomic and political issues that we need to face in order to make a meaningful dent in the negative impact humanity has on the world.

By 48 R P

Dec 23, 2020

This course gave me ideal insights of all various kinds of energy demands that will come in futu re. Very Informative and useful for students who has intereset in the field of science and want to know more about energy in terms of it's consumption and future inclination towards

need for unconventional energies as well.


By Fernando M R

Jan 24, 2017

Toca perfectamente las temáticas para desarrollar un futuro enfocado en energías renovables , aspectos desde económicos, físicos, científicos, politicos con el actual sistema de energía y las repercusiones que conlleva el manejo inadecuado de los recursos así como los efectos de la contaminación en el mundo.

By Cesar N

Sep 6, 2017

Muy buen curso, incluso para los que no tienen mucha idea del tema, como yo. Me ha abierto mucho los ojos para los problemas derivados de los combustibles fósiles, pero también me ha dado mucha esperanza por la gran variedad de alternativas que ya disponemos para enfrentar el reto del desarrollo sostenible.

By Stuart D

Aug 23, 2015

A Fantastic course, bring forward a lot of new material to me personally. Having not studied any science since i was 16, and completed high school, i found this course extremely interesting and very much enjoyed the clear presentations. The content on bio-fuels was, for me, the highlight.

By Nicholas R

Jan 27, 2019

This is simply a fantastic course, very informatiove and well delivered. To see a more detailed review plus my feedback on a few others, please follow the link below to my blog.