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University at Buffalo

Renewable Energy: Fundamentals and Job Opportunities

University at Buffalo via Coursera


This course prepares you to recognize the complexities and nuances of different renewable energy solutions, as well as relevant career opportunities (both technical occupations and roles not typically associated with clean energy). Learners are immersed in discussions about green energy technologies, the impact of sustainability on society, energy consumption in the United States and conservation. Topics include: tenets of green building design and construction, solar energy conversion through photovoltaic cells, wind turbine site selection and design, and nanotechnology applications in clean energy. It references educational opportunities from the State University of New York (SUNY) system that correlate with each clean energy market segment.

The course is suitable for anyone interested in entering the renewable energy field, whether fresh to the workforce or switching industries. Material encompasses online lectures, videos, demos, readings and discussions. Learners will create a career roadmap, whereby they define a job that interests them, conduct a gap assessment to determine additional education/training/skills they need, and document a pathway to their ideal renewable energy career.


  • Welcome!
  • Clean Energy 101
    • This module provides a foundation for the course, covering energy consumption and conservation, the importance of renewable energy, and pathways to careers in renewable energy.
  • Sustainability
    • Learners will gain an understanding of the fundamental principles of sustainability, why sustainability matters, and career opportunities in the field.
  • Green Building
    • Learners will develop an understanding of the value of green buildings, fundamental green building principles, and common rating systems.
  • Solar Energy
    • Learners will consider the benefits and limitations of solar energy, and gain an understanding of solar energy careers and educational opportunities.
  • Wind Energy
    • Learners will review the history of wind energy, consider wind as a fluid, explore turbine design and siting, and gain an understanding of wind power careers and educational pathways.
  • Nanotechnology for Renewable Energy
    • Learners will be introduced to nanotechnology and its applications in renewable energy. Careers and educational pathways will also be explored.
  • Final Project: Exploring Pathways to Renewable Energy Careers
    • Using the resources provided throughout the course, you will hone in on a renewable energy career of interest. By assessing your current background and reviewing the requirements for the desired position, you will conduct a gap analysis and be able to describe the education and training needed to enter your ideal renewable energy career. This culminating project leaves learners with a roadmap to a renewable energy career.

Taught by

Marjaneh Issapour, Elena Brewer, Mark Bremer, Timothy Cochran and Robin McClellan


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 172 ratings

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