Introduction to Energy Technology & Policy


The worldwide energy sector is going through dramatic shifts in energy demand, end-uses, and sources. Population and economic growth are driving up total demand. Industrialization, urbanization, electrification, and motorization are changing how we use energy, while a push for domestic, low-carbon, and renewable fuels is changing our sources of energy. More professionals are needed who can navigate this rapidly changing landscape and this course offers that preparation. Register below for our Introduction to Energy Technology and Policy course to learn more about renewables, energy transition, changing energy technology and policy, other influential energy topics.

Course Details

Format: Synchronous online via Zoom

Dates: January 4-26, 2022 | Tuesdays and Wednesdays (10 am-12 pm CST) | 8 classes total

Course Fee $600

The course is taught by Dr. Michael Webber, a distinguished professor at the University of Texas at Austin and host of the PBS documentary series “Power Trip: The Story of Energy”, and his team of senior researchers. They will give a big-picture overview of global energy trends mixed in with historical snippets, anecdotes, and unexpected examples that provide a surprising look into the past, present, and future of energy. The instructors will share entertaining insights and refreshingly candid views about the best and worst of energy policy, including real-world examples, outlook going forward, and global implications

Key Course Objectives:

Recite, list, explain, and analyze the impacts, implications, and tradeoffs for a wide range of fuel sources and end uses in our energy mix.

Interpret energy information critically, objectively, and accurately.

Understand how solutions enhance or mitigate the impacts, implications, and tradeoffs of different fuel sources and end uses.

Speak fluently about energy.

The course features energetic and interactive lectures that cover the nexus of energy, technology, and policy with findings from recent research and projections into the future. Attendees will gain an overview of the technical and engineering fundamentals of energy— including the benefits and impacts of different fuels and the capabilities of different technologies. They will also gain insights into the role of energy in the economy, international affairs, and American culture.


Dr. Michael E. Webber is the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources at the University of Texas at Austin and CTO of Energy Impact Partners, a $1.5 billion cleantech venture fund. From September 2018 to August 2021, Webber was based in Paris, France where he served as the Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a global energy & infrastructure services company. Webber’s expertise spans research and education at the convergence of engineering, policy, and commercialization on topics related to innovation, energy, and the environment. His latest book Power Trip: the Story of Energy was published in 2019 by Basic Books with an award-winning 6-part companion series that aired on PBS, Amazon Prime and iTunes starting Earth Day 2020. His first book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, which addresses the connection between earth’s most valuable resources and offers a hopeful approach toward a sustainable future, was published in 2016 by Yale Press and was converted into an hourlong documentary. He was selected as a Fellow of ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and as a member of the 4th class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars, which is a leadership training program organized by Presidents George W. Bush and William J. Clinton. Webber has authored more than 400 publications, holds 6 patents, and serves on the advisory board for Scientific American. A successful entrepreneur, Webber was one of three founders in 2015 for an educational technology startup, DISCO Learning Media, which was acquired in 2018. Webber holds a B.S. and B.A. from UT Austin, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He was honored as an American Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow on four separate occasions by the University of Texas for exceptional teaching.

Dr. Thomas Deetjen is a research associate at the University of Texas’ Center for Electromechanics. He has 10 years of experience in technoeconomic system modeling for both industry and academic research projects. He uses computational modeling techniques to explore issues at the intersection of technology, policy, environment, and economics. Thomas’ work focuses on energy topics with particular interest in renewables integration, building energy efficiency, thermal energy storage, and hydrogen economies.

Dr. Isabella Gee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She currently focuses on the food-energy nexus, with a specific focus on the impacts of e-commerce on both individual and system-level energy use. She is interested in the energy, emissions, and social impacts of a changing food system, as well as the implications these changes have for policy makers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia and both an M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Yael R. Glazer is a Research Associate in the Webber Energy Group at The University of Texas at Austin. She previously earned a B.S. in Bioengineering from The University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to graduate school, Yael spent seven years working at Genentech, one of the world’s leading biotech companies, developing and optimizing manufacturing processes to bring medicines to patients with unmet medical needs. Yael's current research interests span the realms of energy, water, food waste, and the environment. She also teaches an introductory course on Energy and Society at UT. In addition to academic research and teaching, Yael consults with investors to assess the technical and economic feasibility of emerging innovations and energy projects.

Joshua D. Rhodes, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at The University of Texas at Austin, and a Founding partner of IdeaSmiths LLC, an energy consultancy. His current work is in the area of smart grid and the bulk electricity system, including spatial system-level applications and impacts of energy efficiency, resource planning, distributed generation, and storage. He is also interested in policy and the impacts that good policy can have on the efficiency of the micro and macro economy. He is a regular contributor to Forbes and is an AXIOS Expert Voice. He sits on the board of the Texas Solar Energy Society and the data advisory board of Pecan Street Inc., a smart energy consortium. He holds a double bachelors in Mathematics and Economics from Stephen F. Austin State University, an M.S. in Computational Mathematics from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Architectural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, and a good cup of coffee.

What subjects are covered in this course?

Taught through 16 synchronous one-hour lectures and supplemental materials, this course will give a broad overview of energy’s critical role in society, emphasizing the economic, environmental, and security trade-offs for various fuels and technology. This course will cover the following topics:

  1. Energy Basics: Transitions, Vocabulary, Uses
  2. Fossil Fuels: Coal, oil, natural gas, midstream, and downstream
  3. Renewable Energy I: Hydro, Wind, Solar
  4. Renewable Energy II: Geo, Ocean, Bio, Wave, Tidal
  5. Nuclear Power
  6. Energy Policy
  7. Energy for Industry and the Built Environment
  8. Transportation Sector: Uses by Transport Mode, Electrification, Biofuels
  9. The Electricity Sector I: Power Plants, Heat Rates, Capacity Factors
  10. The Electricity Sector II: Transmission, Distribution, Smart grids, Microgrids
  11. Energy & the Environment I: Air, Land, Water
  12. Energy & the Environment II: Equity, Sustainability, and Climate Change
  13. Energy Water Nexus
  14. Food Energy Nexus
  15. Energy Disasters, Reliability, and Resilience
  16. Megatrends, Critical Technologies of the Future, Energy & Humanity

What course materials are included in this course?

Accompanying course lectures, course materials includes -- Energy101: Energy Technology and Policy (interactive e-course), and Power Trip: The Story of Energy (e-book)

Can I earn a Certificate/CEU’s?

Yes, students who complete the course and pass the Energy101: Technology and Policy interactive e-course will earn a certificate in “Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.” Upon completion, students are also awarded 1.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

What are the benefits of taking this course?

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recite, list, explain and analyze the impacts, implications and tradeoffs for a wide range of fuel sources and end uses in our energy mix
  • Interpret energy information critically, objectively, and accurately
  • Understand how solutions enhance or mitigate the impacts, implications, and tradeoffs of different fuel sources and end uses
  • Speak fluently about energy

Who should take this course?

  • Rising managers or mid-level executives in the energy industry who want to deepen and broaden their knowledge,
  • Professionals in coal, oil, or gas who wish to expand into clean energy topics, or
  • Professionals in other sectors such as finance, consulting, human resources, etc. who want to break into the energy sector
  • While this course will introduce some engineering concepts, it is designed for engineers and non-engineers alike.

What are the dates and times for the course?

Course will be held 10am – 12pm CST on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning January 4th and ending January 26th, 2022.

Are recordings available?

Yes, recordings are available upon request. However, we encourage all of our students to attend every session to optimize their understanding of course material and overall learning experience.

Where do classes take place?

Synchronously live- online via Zoom.

I’m interested in taking the Introduction to Energy Technology & Policy course but need more information. Is there someone I can contact?

Yes! Please email our Program Coordinator, Radell Gibbs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more information.