Energy engineering curricula for sustainable development, considering underserved areas Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2020

start page

  • 120960(1)

end page

  • 120960(12)


  • 258

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-6526

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1786


  • This paper focuses on the need for sustainable energy engineering degrees and the problems found in establishing appropriate curricula contents. Proposals are made for developing adapted energy engineering degrees. Relevant contents are provided for these curricula, which should train engineers to deal with current and future problems. This need for updated curricula is established in view of the paradigm shift taking place in the energy sector, which includes a considerable increase in renewable energies and the need to radically address sustainability issues. A detailed description of potential contents is presented, which is supported by a critical review of the existing literature. Three parallel issues may lead to the identification of new contents. First, new contents may arise from the identification of changes in conventional energy engineering education. Such changes result from the increasing relevance of unconventional energy systems and of energy management issues. Second, new contents may arise from the need to include sustainability topics in engineering degrees. Third, new contents may become relevant when focusing on underserved regions and energy poverty niches, in view of the need for specific alternative technologies for those conditions. Once a detailed description of curricula contents is made, an analysis of a sample of current curricula in higher education institutions, based on the relative content weight of the main modules, is presented. The analysis shows a clear lack of consensus on the appropriate contents for energy engineering, an insufficiency of sustainability topics, and an absence, when dealing with underserved regions, of addressing the need for appropriate, affordable, and sustainable technologies. Certain proposals are made to address these problems.