The Canadian Society for Evolving Energy (CSEE) together with our partners at the University of Alberta are pleased to announce the release of our Massive Open Online Course “21st Century Energy Transition: How do we Make it Work?”. Affordable, abundant and reliable energy is fundamental to human well-being and prosperity. For the past 200 years, people around the world have gained access to energy, primarily in the form of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas. But today, even while half of humanity cannot access adequate energy supplies, we are accelerating an evolution to more diverse energy sources. Energy security, environmental sustainability, and climate change are all important – and sometimes conflicting – drivers as we strive to supply more energy to more people with fewer negative impacts on Earth’s environments. The goal of the Energy Transitions MOOC is to educate people about the 21st century Energy Transition – from the fossil fuel-dominated energy systems of today to more diverse and secure energy systems to power our lives in decades to come. We provide the practical knowledge needed for people to understand the ranges of possible future energy systems. Our approach is underpinned by solid science and engineering knowledge, and informed by environmental and societal values and economics. The MOOC consists of 28 online video lessons, organized into six modules:

  • Introduction to the 21st Century Energy Transition
  • Energy Sources and Production – Benefits and Challenges
  • Energy Storage
  • What do we Need to Know to Address the Energy Transition?
  • How do we Enable the Energy Transition?
  • Energy Policy and Pathways to Support Energy Transition

21st Century Energy Transition was developed by CSEE and the Energy Systems Signature Area at the University of Alberta. Dr. Brad Hayes, an Adjunct Professor at University of Alberta and Outreach Director at CSEE, is the primary course researcher and lecturer. Experts in a wide variety of energy-related fields bring specialized knowledge to the course. References and reading lists are provided for participants eager to pursue further knowledge about energy sources, storage, economics and policy. As of the end of January 2023, more than 2000 students have signed on to the course, and more than 130 have completed all 28 lessons! Students have signed up from all over the world, and there is strong interest in every age group. Learners have ranked the course at 4.8/5 stars.

The MOOC is delivered in a series of online video lectures hosted by leading online education provider Coursera. Everyone is welcome to view the course for free, and with the payment of a fee, students can participate in online discussions and evaluation and receive a certificate of completion.

(Latest update October 06, 2022)


“Great piece of work. Humankind’s challenges ahead with the energy transition needs some pragmatism. The Internet and Social Media polarizes views on the issue and makes it difficult to truly understand the issues and challenges at hand and in the future. I found this a very neutral and unbiased delivery. I would have liked to see more on the Critical Minerals issues which will play a fundamental part in any transition. Some participants may find it long to get through but I would recommend to start with the Conclusions in Week 6 – video = 26 min. – and then dive in. Well done CSEE and Brad Hayes. I look forward to future updates.”

“This is a very comprehensive course about renewable energy and the future of energy. As such it deals with the various pathways to net zero and what we must do individually and collectively to fight climate change. It is a scientific based approach course and so makes you appreciate the enormous work we have to do to accelerate the path to decarbonizing our grid by 2050. I would like to say a special thank you to Professor Brad Hayes and the team of experts for putting this together. It is a great course for all climate and energy enthusiasts.”

By Owusu F R, from Coursera Reviews

“What an excellent course! I found the speakers to be engaging and their material was very interesting and informative. Being that I work at a firm that advises companies in the energy industry, I wanted to expand my knowledge of how the energy transition is taking place and what specific challenges it faces.”

“Highly recommended for a recap on the basics, a grasp of the latest technological innovations and the strategies that can enable to world to reach energy transition!

Really well structured, well thought and amazingly managed with all the guest lecturers I loved it!”


We are extremely grateful to the many partner organizations that contributed expertise, funding, or both to support the technical standards and production quality of 21st Century Energy Transitions.

Only with this diverse support were we able to present this unique overview to energy sources that power humanity today and into the future.



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