Solar Energy Basics: A Renewable Energy Certificate Course

Please note: Course is offered at the beginning of every month. You may sign up for it at any time, and your course will begin the first day of the upcoming month.
Who Should Attend
This online course is ideal for individuals who want to learn about renewable energy, current trends, technologies and applications.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Define key aspects of the growing solar industry, including different locations and scales of production.
  • Describe the current use of solar energy.
  • Identify and list past and current incentives for using and producing solar energy.
  • Recognize companies developing and investing in solar energy, as well as estimate the business benefits of such investments.
  • Identify the scientific fundamentals of the exploration, development, and distribution of solar power.
  • Describe the scientific, technological, and business components of solar energy, e.g., turbine manufacturing and installation, solar farm management, purchasing and distribution of solar energy.
  • Cite current applications of solar power in the energy industry.
  • Discuss and analyze case studies involving the integration of solar power and non-renewable sources of energy.
  • Devise methods for the integration of solar power in order to anticipate future changes in the energy market.
Course Content

Solar Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for solar energy. In addition to gaining a working knowledge of the scientific, technological, and business aspects of solar energy, participants will also learn techniques for the integration of solar energy and existing non-renewable resources. Both large-scale solar farm structures and small-scale use in commercial and public structures will be addressed. The final project will involved developing a plan for a solar energy installation.

With direct contact with your professor, who will answer questions and review your work via e-mail, you will have a chance to learn about solar energy in a personalized setting. You may also have an opportunity to interact with other professionals in the field who will be available for your questions. A discussion board will be available for interaction with peers.

This course is part of a 5-course series: Certificate in Renewable Energy. The goal of the series of courses, and the Renewable Energy program is to equip earth scientists with knowledge to enable them to take the lead in integrated energy projects and programs. An earth scientist’s unique training and understanding of the big picture — the global picture — provides unmatched abilities to design, oversee, and promote integrated energy solutions which require bringing together fossil energy, geothermal, solar, solar, biomass, and others.

  • Unit 1 (Week 1): Scientific and Technology
  • Unit 2 (Week 2): Exploration and Development
  • Unit 3 (Week 3): Investment Models and Benefits
  • Unit 4 (Week 4): Integration Techniques
Course Structure

This course is offered at the beginning of every month. You may sign up for it at any time, and your course will begin the first day of the upcoming month. This course is designed to be equivalent to a 3 credit-hour graduate-level seminar. It is a 4-week online course which consists of 4 one-week units that involve readings, multimedia, guiding questions, and assignments for you to do and to email to your instructor. You will receive feedback from your instructor, and upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate. As part of our five-course Certificate in Renewable Energy program, if you complete this course as well as the others, you will receive 5 course certificates and a program certificate.

Required Work: For each unit, one research project and a short paper that builds on results of the research project, for a total of four brief research projects and four papers.

Core Text Suggestions
  • Ackerman, Thomas. Solar Power in Power Systems. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing, 2005.
  • Gipe, Paul. Solar Power. White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Press, 2004.
  • Wizelius, Tore. Developing Solar Power Projects: Theory and Practice. London: Earthscan Publications Limited, 2007.

Expires on
01 January, 9999
Member Tuition
Expires on
01 January, 9999
Nonmember Tuition


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Susan Nash, Ph.D. Director of Education and Professional Development +1 918 560 2604
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The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) does not endorse or recommend any products and services that may be cited, used or discussed in AAPG publications or in presentations at events associated with AAPG.