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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

To provide an understanding of the physical principles, technologies and systems associated with renewable energy generation from geothermal and hydro sources. To provide an understanding of the position of these sources of energy in the current and future global energy requirements and the technical challenges in meeting the future energy demand.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mark Stewart

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course examines the renewable energy industries involving geothermal and hydro sources including resources, physical principles, technologies, environmental considerations and impact, integration into the grid, commercial development, and future challenges facing the industries.

The syllabus is the following:

Geothermal Energy.

1. Introduction to geothermal energy engineering

Geophysical aspects (internal structure, plate tectonics etc)

Overview of geothermal energy technologies

Geothermal energy and the global energy mix

2. Fundamental thermodynamics for geothermal energy engineering

First law of thermodynamics

Second law of thermodynamics

Power cycles

3. Thermodynamic analysis of geothermal heat pumps and power plants

Ground source heat pumps

Direct dry steam and single flash plants

Binary cycle plants

4. Subsurface aspects of geothermal energy engineering

Hydrology of geothermal systems

Site assessment and surveying techniques


5. Sustainability, project management and future outlook for geothermal energy

Sustainability issues

project management

future outlook for geothermal energy

 Hydro Energy

a) Resources;

b) Physical principles;

c) Energy storage;

d) Hydro turbine technologies;

e) Hydro plants;

f) Environmental considerations;

g) Future prospects

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

First Attempt
2 X Online Open-Book Exam (50%) each
Resit Arrangements
Resit of only the failed assessment component(s)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionCreate• Communicate in writing to technical experts and the wider public. • Demonstrate advanced reasoning skills. • Present complex information in an intelligible fashion.
ReflectionUnderstand Renewable energy from geothermal and hydro sources.  Geothermal and energy resources, physical principles, technologies and systems.  Hydro energy, resources, physical principles, technologies.
ReflectionAnalyse Discuss and explain the sources of geothermal and hydro energy and the technologies available to fully exploit them.  Understand where geothermal and hydro energy fit in the future energy strategy.

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