Topics in Energy Policy: Technology & Policy Innovation for Energy Systems

Professor William Hederman
Course Code: 
Energy Use

Course Description

Energy systems consist of physical components and algorithms for linking subsystems.  They are complex, often spanning nations or continents and often governed by combinations of private and public agreements/regulations. It can be difficult to change the outputs and operational characteristics of complex systems. Today, energy users and suppliers—as well as governments—are demanding significant changes to key energy systems.

We will focus on several major energy systems relevant to North America, including high voltage power grids, transmission pipeline networks, and a system more local to the Philadelphia region.  We will examine the current status and trends of the selected systems and will note key challenges applicable to each system. We will explore technological advances and policy changes that could enhance system performance.  Students may select technical or policy topics to research.  Potential topics include: renewable energy integration, Smart Grids, pipeline networks, energy storage options, and COP21 implications for energy systems. 


Section 401

Key Course Topics

  • Overview of Major Energy Systems 
  • Electric Power Systems: High Voltage, Distribution, and Smart Grid
  • Pipeline Systems: North American and Global, Oil and Gas
  • Energy Hubs
  • Reliability as an Energy System Performance Metric 
  • Economics as an Energy System Performance Metric 
  • Historical and Current Technical and Policy Issues

View course syllabus.

This is an elective graduate course for students pursuing a Certificate in Energy Management and Policy. Undergraduate students who wish to enroll must first get approval.

Questions? Contact Cory Colijn at