Course Information

Marxe School of Public and International Affairs

Course Name: PAF 9199 (54435), Energy and Climate Policy

Instructor: Gang He


Office Hours: Thu 1-3pm

Location: Online

Course Description

The urgent challenge of climate change demands innovative solutions and comprehensive policy frameworks. This graduate-level course provides a systems approach to understanding the essential policy questions and analytic tools necessary to achieve the energy transition required to address climate change. Over the course of the semester, we will cover a broad range of topics, including an overview of the energy and climate landscape, project economics, energy sources and technologies, energy demand, environmental and health impacts, power system analysis, energy transition strategies, energy efficiency, sustainable consumption, climate justice, big data and AI for climate change, and the limitations of models. We will also explore emerging topics relevant to energy systems and achieving carbon neutrality. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and real-world assignments, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the essentials of energy and climate policy. We aim to provide students with a nuanced understanding of the energy transition landscape and prepare them to make a meaningful impact in shaping the policy frameworks that will drive the transition towards a sustainable future.

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire the foundational knowledge of climate challenges and energy systems.
  • Describe the interaction of technological, social, economic, and regulatory forces that are shaping energy production, conversion, and consumption and analyze their impact on climate change.
  • Identify the main data sources and key methods used to analyze energy systems.
  • Apply energy project economics, cost benefit analysis, life-cycle analysis, and other analytical concepts used in energy systems and climate policy analysis.
  • Translate an analysis of energy and climate data into policy.

Class Readings

This is a restricted list of various interesting and useful books that will be touched during the course. You need to consult them occasionally, but they are optional.

  • Masters, Gilbert M. 2013. Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems. 2 edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
  • MacKay, David JC. 2008. Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air. UIT Cambridge Ltd.
  • Readings and materials will be posted online.


Final grades will be calculated as follows:

Item Weight Notes
Weekly policy response 20 % 6 responses
Assignments 30 % 4 assignments
Project: Proposal 10 %
Project: Presentation 20 %
Project: Policy memo 20 %

Late submission: One point is subtracted for each 24-hour submitted late. One free late day is allowed of your choice.

Grading Scale

Grade Range Grade Range
A 93 - 100% C 73 - 76.99%
A- 90 - 92.99% C- 70 - 72.99%
B+ 87 - 89.99% D+ 67 - 69.99%
B 83 - 86.99% D 63 - 66.99%
B- 80 - 82.99% D- 60 - 62.99%
C+ 77 - 79.99% F < 60%