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Energetic and Natural Resources

Code: 106785 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504604 Environmental Sciences OB 2 2


Daniel Campos Moreno

Teaching groups languages

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Joan Escuer Solé


In order to follow and integrate properly the contents of this course it will be necessary to have taken (and passed, preferably) previously the courses of 'Fonaments de Física', 'Fonaments de Geologia' i 'Fonaments de Química'.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This course should provide the students the ability to assess and quantify the main sources of natural resources that human beings have available to develop their basic functions and/or their economic activities (in particular the transofrmation and production of energy), and up to what extent such resources are being used and/or overexploited nowadays in our society.

Likewise, the course will introduce the main processes used for extracting and processing such resources, and what is their expected evolution for the following decades (in particular within the context of the energy transition). It will also provide the students with tools to quantify and assess critically the physic, energetic, economic end environmental costs/impacts associated to such uses and processes.

Learning Outcomes

  • CM44 (Competence) Interpret the social, economic and environmental impact of issues related to demographic flows, global change or management in companies.
  • CM46 (Competence) Contrast the different current and future options for environmental risk management, especially in the context of resource management, human health, and global and climate change.
  • KM57 (Knowledge) Identify the complex network of knowledge necessary to comprehensively address the main contemporary challenges in environmental science.
  • KM62 (Knowledge) Identify the main concepts and technologies involved in the management of natural and energy resources, as well as their distribution and consumption.
  • SM55 (Skill) Integrate different types of scientific, technological and social knowledge necessary for the in-depth analysis of environmental processes related to human health, climate change, and environmental management in companies, among others.
  • SM56 (Skill) Identify the main threats associated with the use of the natural environment and their corresponding restoration mechanisms on a local and territorial scale.
  • SM58 (Skill) Analyse demographic, urbanisation and industrialisation processes, both on a global and local scale (especially in Catalonia), in terms of their respective impact on the environment.


1. Introduction: the global problem of the finiteness of energy and natural resources

2. The exploitation and consumption of resources in our society

3. Transport and distribution of energy in the current models

4. Fossil fuels

5. Extraction and management of nuclear fuels

6. Geothermal resources

7. Hydrolectric resources

8. Eolic resources

9. The energy from the Sun

10. Storage and recovery/reutilization of resources and energy

11. Future scenarios: the energy transition


The course includes 38 teaching hours of theory (including both lectures and practical demonstrations in the classroom), 8 teaching hours of seminars (where two interactive and cooperative activities will be developed, based on role-playing and serious games methodologies, to reproduce different case studies related to the management of natural resources and energy) and 2 teaching hours of external visits to several facilities avaiilable at the UAB Campus related to the consumption and management of energy in the university.

Additionally, the course includes a certain number of hours devoted to personal study (which includes both theoretical study and consultation of sources through the Internet and/or other channels), plus those hours that the students will need to prepare the different assigments during the course.

Note: es reservaran 15 minuts d'una classe, dins del calendari establert pel centre/titulació, per a la complementació per part de l'alumnat de les enquestes d'avaluació de l'actuació del professorat i d'avaluació de l'assignatura/mòdul.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Gamified activities in the classroom 8 0.32 KM57, SM58, KM57
In-class lectures 38 1.52 CM44, CM46, KM62, SM55, SM56, CM44
Visits to UAB Campus facilities related to energy efficiency 2 0.08 CM44, CM46, KM57, KM62, CM44
Type: Autonomous      
Autonomous work 86 3.44 CM44, CM46, KM57, KM62, SM55, SM56, SM58, CM44
Tutorials 10 0.4 KM57, KM62, SM55, SM56, KM57


i) The evaluation of the course will include two independent partial exams covering each a part of the contents of the course, each representing a weight of 35% over the final grade.

ii) Additionally, there will be two interactive and cooperative activities in group based on a role-playing games (to be developed during the last 3/4 weeks of the week) based on practical case studies/projects. These activities will involve several assignments and/or oral presentations that will represent globally a 30% of the final grade, and will imply compulsory attendance to all the sessions where the activitites are developed.

iii) Finally, as a pàrt of the evaluation of the course, the attendance to the external visits included in the course program will give the student the right to present an assignement that will increase the final grade of the course up to 0,5 points.


To pass the course the student will have to:

i) Get a minimum average grade of 5 (over 10).

ii) Get a minimum grade of 3,5 (over 10) in each of the three main evaluation activities (the two partial exams and the interactive activitites). In case this requirement is not fullfilled the final grade that will appear in the expedient will be (i) the average grade in case it is below 4,5, (ii) 4,5 in case it is above this value.



i) Those students that have attended a minimum part of the evaluation activites (corresponding at least to 2/3 of the final grade) but do not get the minimum grade to pass the course, or that want to improve their grades, have the option of a retake exam that will be independent for each partial.

ii) The interactive activities, as well as all assignments in the course, will not have a retake option.


Given the characteristics of some of its evaluation activities, this course does not offer the option of a Unique-Assignment evaluation.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
1st partial exam 35/100 2 0.08 CM44, CM46, KM62, SM55, SM56
2nd partial exam 35/100 2 0.08 CM44, CM46, KM62, SM55, SM56
Gamified activities in the classroom 30/100 2 0.08 KM57, SM58



V. Ruiz. El Reto Energético. Almuzara, 2013 (2a ed).

J. González-Velasco. Energías Renovables. Reverté, 2005.

C. Riba Romeva. Recursos Energètics i crisi. Octaedro, 2012.

D. Yergin. The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations. Penguin Books, 2021

R.L. Jaffe and W. Taylor. The Physics of Energy. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018

D.J.C. Mackay. Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air. (https://www.withouthotair.com/)

B. Cassoret. Energy Transition. Taylor & Francis, 2021.

IEA Reports

World Energy Outlook. https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2022

The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions. https://www.iea.org/reports/the-role-of-critical-minerals-in-clean-energy-transitions

Clean Energy Transitions Programme 2022. https://www.iea.org/reports/clean-energy-transitions-programme-2022

Technology Innovation to Accelerate Energy Transitions. https://www.iea.org/reports/technology-innovation-to-accelerate-energy-transitions

World Energy Investment 2023. https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-investment-2023

Global EV Outlook 2023. https://www.iea.org/reports/global-ev-outlook-2023

Renewable Energy Policies in a Time of Transition. https://www.iea.org/reports/renewable-energy-policies-in-a-time-of-transition

Recommendations of the Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions. https://www.iea.org/reports/recommendations-of-the-global-commission-on-people-centred-clean-energy-transitions


IRENA Reports

Critical Materials For The Energy Transition. https://www.irena.org/Technical-Papers/Critical-Materials-For-The-Energy-Transition

Managing Seasonal and Interannual Variability of Renewables. https://www.iea.org/reports/managing-seasonal-and-interannual-variability-of-renewables

Financing clean energy transitions in emerging and developing economies. https://www.iea.org/reports/financing-clean-energy-transitions-in-emerging-and-developing-economies

Smart Electrification with Renewables. https://www.irena.org/Publications/2022/Feb/Smart-Electrification-with-Renewables

Innovation landscape for smart electrification. https://www.irena.org/Publications/2023/Jun/Innovation-landscape-for-smart-electrification

Innovation landscape for a renewable-powered future. https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/Feb/Innovation-landscape-for-a-renewable-powered-future

Community-Ownership Models. https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2020/Jul/IRENA_Community_ownership_2020.pdf?la=en&hash=A14542D0C95F608026457B42001483B9B82D1828

Capturing Carbon. https://www.irena.org/Technical-Papers/Capturing-Carbon

Scenarios for the Energy Transition. https://www.irena.org/publications/2020/Sep/Scenarios-for-the-Energy-Transition-Global-experience-and-best-practices

Other Reports

IPCC. Mitigation of Climate Change 2022. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/

World Energy Council: Five Steps to Energy Storage. https://www.worldenergy.org/assets/downloads/Five_steps_to_energy_storage_v301.pdf

Technical support for RES policy development and implementation. https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/949ddae8-0674-11ee-b12e-01aa75ed71a1

EEA: Energy Prosumers in Europe. https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/the-role-of-prosumers-of

Carbon dioxide removal: Nature-based and technological solutions. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2021)689336

Online resources

Demanda Red Eléctrica Española. https://demanda.ree.es/visiona/home

Global Wind Atlas. https://globalwindatlas.info/en

European Wind Atlas. https://map.neweuropeanwindatlas.eu/

Photovoltaic Geographical Information System. https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvg_tools/en/

Global Solar Atlas. https://globalsolaratlas.info/map

Energy Transition Model. https://energytransitionmodel.com/

De l’Euro al Joule. https://www.youtube.com/@deleuroaljoule-qy5qu/featured

Central Gorona del Viento. https://www.goronadelviento.es/

Web d’Energia de la UAB. https://www.uab.cat/web/energia-1345825228693.html