Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: USEMEEE
Energy and Environmental Economics
Course infoSchedule
Course codeUSEMEEE
ECTS Credits5
Category / LevelM (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Law, Economics and Governance; Graduateschool REBO; Economics of Public Policy and Management;
Contact persondr. M.W.J.L. Sanders
Telephone+31 30 2539800
Contactperson for the course
dr. M.W.J.L. Sanders
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3  (03/02/2020 to 19/04/2020)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotB: TUE-morning, THU-afternoon
Study mode
RemarkRequired elective in master Economic Policy; Elective in masters IM, BDE, FM & BF.
Enrolment periodfrom 28/10/2019 up to and including 24/11/2019
Course application processOsiris
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesNo
Post-registration openfrom 20/01/2020 up to and including 21/01/2020
Waiting listNo
Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.

Research on global climate change, geopolitical considerations and environmental degradation has established the necessity and desirability of a transition towards a more environmentally and strategically sustainable energy system. At the other end, scientists and engineers have developed many options and technologies that would make this transition feasible. Still, the transition is taking place at a painstakingly slow pace, if at all. As energy is such a fundamental input in modern economies, the challenge of bringing this transition about is huge.

This is not a standard academic course in environmental and energy economics, where you read a book, follow lectures, do exercises and write an exam. The course is open to all MSc-programs offered at U.S.E. and will therefore not offer further specialisation in the topic of any specific MSc-program. Rather, in this course we challenge you to apply what you have learned and to do so in collaboration with people from very different backgrounds and specialisations on a real-world problem. In multidisciplinary teams, you will work on developing policy proposals that address challenges in the energy transition for the Netherlands. These challenges will be set by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands and the policy proposals developed during the course will be presented at a conference where policy makers will evaluate your work. In working on this challenge, you will see how your academic knowledge of economics can be fruitfully applied to real-world problems. But you will also (hopefully) learn about the many things you do not know. To some extent, those gaps can (and should) be addressed with self-study and desk research. But often it is more efficient and more fun simply to work with people that can complement you, as you will very often in your future career. To achieve the inherently multidisciplinary approach required for complex real-world challenges, you will work intensively with MSc-students from different MSc-programs at USE and even from other faculties, such as geosciences and energy science.

Learning objectives
  • Combine theory and empirical skills learned earlier to the issues related to energy production and use;
  • Identify where knowledge gaps are present and effectively address these;
  • Critically evaluate work of others on these dimensions;
  • Formulate and complete a scientifically researched policy proposal on energy transition.
Lectures, guest lectures, discussion meetings and assignment.
Assessment method
  • Written assignment (80%). This is an individually graded group assignment: the students write an individual policy proposal that is integrated into a joint policy paper. They are graded individually on the policy proposal and jointly on the introductory parts (identification of major challenges) and joint conclusion, the presentation at the conference and the discussant role they take on other papers.
  • Participation in group discussions (20%) through peer evaluation.
Course is eligible to all students. The course includes writing an advisory report, so it will be advantageous to have some affinity and skills with regard to drafting a report.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.
Entry requirements
You must meet the following requirements
  • Enrolled for a degree programme of faculty Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance
Required materials
J.M. Harris and B. Roach “Environmental and Resource Economics” 4th ed. Taylor & Francis Ltd 4th ed. 2017.
Study guide
Course manual
Instructional formats
Discussion meetings

Guest lecture


Test weight20
Minimum grade1

Written Assignment
Test weight80
Minimum grade1

Kies de Nederlandse taal