Energy Education Resources

The Department of Energy’s Energy 101 Initiative 

Who has access to electricity?  Where does our electricity come from?  What are kinetic energy, potential energy, and energy in general?  What is coal, and how is our use changing?  What are our fossil fuel reserves like? They aren’t what you think! 

There’s a difference between renewable and sustainable, and that difference is important.  Energy use depends on where we live, and that’s changing in big ways.  Population is growing but unevenly and that has big consequences for us using electricity as an energy currency.

1) Energy Potentials –  Renewable energies combined with energy efficiency can provide 80 to 100% of our energy needs today with cost-effective technologies.

● Stanford University Energy Institute – explains how to provide global energy needs with energy efficiency and renewable energies.

● Renewable Energies Can meet 80% of US Electrical Needs  (from the National Renewable Energy Lab)

2) Military and Energy Department of Defense Sustainable Energy Efforts – also addresses  climate change –

3) Civic Engagement for Climate Change Solutions
Many students are educated about climate change yet don’t know how to help create solutions. This often leaves students feeling frustrated and worried and less able to participate in building solutions. The following groups all have materials students can use to apply their knowledge to climate change solutions. These materials can be used as both class assignments and as student life activities:

Busting the Myths about the Affordability of Solar Energy – real life example of how policy can make solar energy affordable to all building owners, with utility bill savings paying for the solar. Georgia’s “Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015”  allows wide access to solar and cost effective implementation. –

4) Clean Energy Education Call to Action and resources for all educators. From networks of 40+ national higher education associations and HEASC Fellow from MIT’s energy Lab. Includes essential info about clean energy plus links to energy and climate change solutions –

5) Materials for curricula, employment projections, and career pathways in energy. Hundreds of resources and links about solar, wind, biofuels, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, green building, and more from the sustainability initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges –

6) Community energy conversations where people from diverse political backgrounds can, in an atmosphere of civil discourse, reach common ground for our energy future –

“Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis”, compiled by Kris Nelson and Madeleine Charney.

Selected Resources for Spring 2016 by University of Massachusetts Amherst

Workforce Development and Solar, provided by Jen Fuller  (Haag, S., Pasqualetti, M., & Manning, M. (2012). Industry perceptions of solar energy policy in the American southwest. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences9(1), 37-50.)

Literacy Principles supported by fundamental concepts:

“Energy and society” course at UC Berkeley

James Donev – U. of Calgary – A free online textbook energy- Encyclopedia, not a course book

Energy 101 – MOOC (Michael Weber)

HESN (development, not just energy) The Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) is a partnership between USAID and seven top universities, designed to channel the ingenuity of university students, researchers, and faculty towards global development.

Physics of Sustainable Energy – back of the envelope methods – Outdated data!

International Energy Agency (IEA) & Energy Information Agency (EIA)

Dallas – Calgary Oil World Nexus

Michael Cohen’s Energy Game “Griddle”

The Great Energy Challenge (National Geographic / Shell)

Energy Education: Easy, Difficult, or Both? David E. Blockstein, National Council on Science and the Environment (NCSE), Catherine H. Middlecamp, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison and John H. Perkins, The Evergreen State College

Bioenergy: Biomass to Biofuels, edited by Anju Dahiya and published by Elsevier Inc. / Academic Press (ISBN 978-0-12-407909-0; TP339.D34 2015). Anju Dahiya and her panel of experts explore not only biomass for transportation fuels, also for heat / power generation. Teacher resources page: PowerPoint slide resources: