FE409 Methods course for Renewable Energy
Course description for academic year 2022/2023
Contents and structure
The course will introduce selected theories, methodological approaches and concepts that can be applied to the topic of renewable energy, allowing the students to make an informed decision on the methodological approaches that they would like to focus on in both the bachelor thesis and future work.
The course is structured into several blocks of approximately one week length, covering the three thematical areas of scientific theories and concepts, quantitative methods and qualitative methods.
The first block is an introduction to scientific theory, philosophy of science and research ethics. It will cover different types of explanation models and the relation between reason and observation, induction and deduction in scientific accumulation of evidence.
This is followed by one-week blocks covering individual methodological approaches, such as statistics, conducting interviews and case studies, system dynamics, energy accounting and network analysis. Each methodological approach will be situated in the theoretical landscape covered in the first block.
Additionally, students will acquire fundamental knowledge on data collection procedures related to the different methodologies. This also includes knowledge about registrations of energy in public accounts and they will learn how to critically assess different international energy accounts.
The course provides a fundamental introduction to various quantitative and qualitative methods in research projects. Students will acquire knowledge about conditions and limitations of applying different methodological approaches. Students will learn to choose a research design for a given research question and evaluate a) what data must be collected, b) how these data may be analyzed, and c) what conclusions may be inferred based on a chosen design. Further, students will acquire knowledge about basic themes in scientific theory such as source of knowledge (reason end empirical observation, induction and deduction) as well as different forms of verifying knowledge.
- will have knowledge about the relation between reason and observation in scientific accumulation of evidence
- will have knowledge about designing research projects
- will have knowledge about basic principles in quantitative and qualitative research methods
- will have knowledge about conditions and limitations in applying different methodological approaches
- will have knowledge about the best method to apply to a given research question
- will have knowledge about what data best fits a given methodological approach
- will have knowledge about how data are collected
- will have knowledge about formulating and testing hypothesis with a given set of collected data
- will have knowledge about how to analyze a given set of collected data
- will have knowledge about energy accounting, how different forms of energy production and consumption are registered in public energy accounts
- will have knowledge about how energy data are collected and how their quality may be assessed
- will have knowledge about energy data and energy accounts internationally and in Norway
- will be able to choose a methodological approach for a given research question
- will be able to collect data for a given research question
- will be able to use tools for data treatment and statistical analysis
- will be able to use tools for qualitative analysis
- will be able to collect, compare and critical assess data from different international energy accounts
- will acquire knowledge about conditions and limitations of applying different methodological approaches
- will be able to perform a critical assessment of application of scientific methods in scientific publications
- will be able to identify methodological problems in formulating research questions, both in own research and in other scientific publications
- will be able to reflect on scientific accumulation of evidence in other studies and assess to what degree the researcher is part of the scientific object
Recommended previous knowledge
Lectures, assignments and exercises.
Compulsory learning activities
Six (6) written excercises connected to the courses themes. Three (3) of six (6) excercises must be approved (passed) before one may take the exam.
Written school exam, 4 hours.
Grading scale A-F, where F represents a fail.
Examination support material
NoneMore about examination support material