Module details for Renewable Energy Technologies


This module covers advanced aspects of the science, technology, socio−economic and environmental aspects of renewable energy production, with a particular emphasis on biofuels.


To provide students with understanding of physical, chemical, biological and engineering aspects of renewable energy production, and the socio−economic and environmental aspects of its production and utilisation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Critically appraise the current and future status of renewable energy.

2.  Evaluate research in biotechnological processes involved in biofuel production.

3.  Evaluate the significance of renewable energy production with regard to human health, socio−economics, energy balances, environmental impact and industrial production.

Indicative Content

1 Overvew of Renewable Energy Technologies

Types of common renewable technologies. Pros and cons of common technologies. Economic aspects; energy balances; environmental, socio−economic and political considerations; national and international directives.

2 Bioethanol and other liquid transportation biofuels

Overview of biodiesel, biobuthanol and bioethanol global production (statistics). Overview of biodiesel and biobutanol (ABE fermentation) production processes. Overview of bioethanol production processes. First (starch and sugar−based) and second (cellulose−based) generation feedstocks . Feedstock processing. Fermentation and distillation: theoretical and applied aspects.

3 Biogas

Theory and practice of anaerobic digestion. Future prospects. Biogas and digestate re−use options. Biohydrogen. Microbial fuel cells.

4 Selected topics in renewable energies

Overview of selected examples of renewable energy technologies, such as: biohydrogen, fuel cells, hydro/wind/wave/geothermal/solar and nuclear power.

5 Future prospects for renewable energy

A review of emerging and future renewable technologies.


Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 26
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 70
Independent 92
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.