Brussels, Belgium

Fundamentals of the Energy Transition

when 30 May 2023 - 14 July 2023
language English
duration 7 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1300

Attaining the clean energy transition has become a global policy objective. The major crises we have been experiencing in the last few years, from the climate emergency crisis, to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy (price) crisis, have exacerbated the challenges. Thus, the attainment of the energy transition is of an increasing importance, as it is key for addressing a plethora of different crucial issues, including climate change, growth, energy security, and energy democracy.

This course aims to highlight the complexity and multifaceted character of these challenges, and make the students conversant with the fundamentals of the energy transition. With a focus on the international and European level, it adopts a multi-disciplinary approach that will delve into law, policymaking, governance, as well as political and geopolitical interests and balances. In this regard, the course scrutinises the content of fundamental concepts, such as energy transition, energy democracy or energy solidarity. It examines how energy markets work, it analyses the core aspects of the relevant legal and regulatory framework, and it discusses the application of fundamental rights in the field of energy. In addition, it elucidates different conflicts between policy objectives and regulatory targets, as well as the different interests of different actors. Major questions that will be discussed include:

• What does the term energy transition refer to?

• How do energy markets work?

• What are the policy objectives and the governance and regulatory instruments that serve the energy transition?

• What is the role of the fundamental rights in the field of energy?

• What is energy democracy, and what is the role of self-consumers and energy communities?

• What is energy solidarity and energy security, and what is their legal expression?

• What is the relation between the attainment of the energy transition and the protection of the environment?

The course adopts a dialectical and inclusive teaching method, that combines ex cathedra lectures and tutorial-style problem-based learning. Real cases and open-ended questions will be used to trigger students’ curiosity and interest, and to boost active participation in the course. With the aim to encourage students to undertake independent research and strengthen both their writing and presentation skills, there will be two assignments: a) writing a brief (4-5 pages) essay and presenting it in the class. A discussant-model can be followed, with each student providing feedback to the essay and presentation of a fellow student. In this manner, the critical thinking of students will be sharpened and the students will get familiar with academic peer-reviewing; b) an oral assignment consisting in debating in small teams on open-ended questions. The course structure also includes a guest lecture or a visit to an EU institution in Brussels. Such an educational activity will be a special spice to the course structure that very much pertains the nature of a summer school.

Credits info

6 EC
Students have the choice to take this Summer Programme either with or without credits. You may register for a maximum of 2 courses (6 ECTS per course). Any combination is possible! Both obvious ones, like 'Human Rights and International Criminal Law' and 'The EU’s Approach to Democratisation and Human Rights', and less obvious ones, like 'European Cinema' and 'The Belgian Brewery Industry in a Global Context'. In the latter course, the famous Belgian beer industry is taken as a multi-faceted case study for studying core business processes and international market developments. On top of that, you will also get the possibility of learning the nuts and bolts of the beer brewing process yourself!

Another great thing about this Summer Programme is that you can also choose an internship as one of your two selected courses. Then you will actually be able to acquire working experience with one of our selected internship partners!

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This Undergraduate Summer Programme is organised by Vesalius College.

Fee info

EUR 1300: For continuing students as well as for external students, the tuition fee per course (6 ECTS) is 1300 EUR.

Study Abroad students should get in touch with their Study Abroad Officer to enquire about tuition fees.

If you are a Study Abroad Officer from a partner university, please contact us to learn more about discounts available to your students.