Introduction to Energy Transition

Gijs Holstege 
3 half days

Business context

As the most abundant greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, CO2 levels have risen from a pre industrial baseline of 280 ppm to ~410 ppm leading to a rise in average global temperatures at a rate unprecedented in geological past.

The use of energy represents by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities globally. About two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to burning fossil fuels for energy to be used for heating, electricity, transport and industry. A rapid decarbonization of our energy system has therefore become increasingly urgent, leading to a whole spectrum of activity collectively known as the "Energy Transition".

This VILT course will cover key aspects of renewable energy solutions, including how they can integrate together to replace the reliability of supply we have been used to from fossil fuels.

Course content

Upon completion of this Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) course, participants will learn to:

  • Appreciate the science of climate change, how human induced (anthropogenic) change is now the dominant factor
  • Understand how the global energy system impacts greenhouse gases with the subsequent effect on climate change
  • Develop an understanding of the energy transition journey to date including the role of global stakeholders
  • Uncover the different industrial sectors and fuel consumers, and how each uses energy and lend themselves to decarbonization (or not)
  • Uncover key aspects of renewable energy solutions, including how they can integrate together to replace the reliability of supply we have been used to from fossil fuels
  • Understand the overview for energy transition economics and what is required in terms of regulatory and policy changes to accelerate the transition

Learning, methods and tools

The VILT course will be delivered in three modules of 4 hours per day, with 2 breaks of 10 minutes each day. It will be interactive with the inclusion of exercises, quizzes and case studies. The platform for the online course is either Zoom or MS Teams. Presenting materials can easily be done on these platforms. Participants can raise their hand if they want to ask a question; the presenter can switch to a screen where he can see all participants (also when each participant is sitting in another location such as at home); participants can ask questions by writing notes, but they can also be given the microphone; there is a whiteboard functionality that can be used as one would use a flip chart.

Additionally, some self-study will be requested. Participants are invited but not obliged to bring a short presentation of maximum 10 mins on the energy transition challenges they are facing in their own country. This will then be explained and discussed during the VILT course. A short test or quiz will be held on each day of the course.

Day by day programme


Climate change. Is it happening and is it an issue?

*       Introduction, what is climate, climate science and modelling

*       Human activity and how it effects climate

*       Climate change observed, impact on and cost to society

*       Greenhouse gas emission scenarios, the carbon budget, the Paris climate agreement

*       The current global energy system described, supply and demand forecasts

 Exercise: Paris agreement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) exercise

  • Quiz



The current energy system, its carbon footprint and decarbonizing

*       Industrial and economic sectors, the role of fossil fuels and their respective CO2 footprints

*       Decarbonization challenges per sector, and the role of electrification

*       Decarbonization strategies and solutions

*       Renewable energy sources and their contributions

*       Reliability, intermittency and energy storage

Exercise: Hiringa New Zealand hydrogen for road haulage case study

  • Quiz



Satkeholders, economics and politics

*       Understanding emission reduction technologies, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the role of other nature-based solutions

*       Renewable energy economics & competitiveness, carbon pricing and emissions trading

*       The key players, policy and regulatory collaboration and alignment

*       Reviewing the countries and pioneers leading the way in energy transition

*       Threats and opportunities, the wider impact on society

Exercise: Developing a national climate change policy

  • Final quiz