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Environmental Impacts of Energy Systems

This course gives you, as a student of civil engineering in energy systems, knowledge of the environmental impacts the energy system has, and how you as a civil engineer can contribute to creating sustainable energy systems. Theory is interspersed with projects where you assess energy solutions from an environmental perspective.

The energy solutions of the future are a topical subject that is discussed daily in the media. Future energy systems must have low emissions, especially of greenhouse gases, but without threatening biological diversity by demanding large areas of land. In addition, they should be both stable and flexible, so that energy is always available when we need it. The old energy solutions based on fossil fuels present major environmental problems and the transition to a new, more sustainable energy system presents challenges that it is important to be aware of. During the course, we go through old and new environmental problems from an energy perspective and link them to both Swedish environmental goals and global goals. We believe that equipped with knowledge of the details and the underlying causes, you will be able to propose good solutions as qualified civil engineers.

Lectures are interspersed with debate, statistical exercises and a longer report where you independently develop a sustainable energy solution for an entire country and calculate and discuss what environmental improvements it will result in.

Information from the course leader

Välkomna till kursen!

Vi ses i den 31 augusti kl. 8:15 i Loftets stora bankettsal på SLU.

Mvh Stina Drakare, kursledare

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

KE0069-10092 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for KE0069

Academic year 2021/2022

Environmental Impacts of Energy Systems (KE0069-10174)

2021-08-30 - 2021-11-01

Academic year 2020/2021

Environmental Impacts of Energy Systems (KE0069-10255)

2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Environmental Impacts of Energy Systems (KE0069-10200)

2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31


KE0069 Environmental Impacts of Energy Systems, 5.0 Credits

Energisystemens miljöpåverkan



Education cycle

Bachelor’s level


Title Credits Code
Exam 2.0 0202
Report 3.0 0203

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirementsBachelor’s level (G1F)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to 10 credits chemistry, 5 credits biology, 10 credits in technology and 5 credits in statistics.


The aim of the course is to give the student basic knowledge of the environmental impact of different types of energy systems. This knowledge forms the basis for subsequent courses on the assessment of environmental impacts and sustainable energy systems. The impact includes environmental effects from the production, operation and dismantling of energy plants, as well as environmental impacts from extraction, use and residual products of various types of fuel.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to

- describe the environmental impact of different energy systems, as well as describe the meteorological, chemical and / or biological causes of these environmental effects,

- explain how to measure and assess environmental effects in nature with both chemical and biological parameters,

- evaluate the environmental impact different energy systems can exert both locally and globally,

- on a scientific basis, evaluate different energy systems from an environmental perspective and propose measures to improve current energy systems so that environmental impact is reduced by individually writing and presenting an action plan


Subdivided into energy types, the course brings up environmental impacts linked to fossil fuels, biofuels, nuclear power, hydropower, wind power, solar power and wave power, and connects them to the mechanisms that cause environmental impact. The types of environmental impacts being treated are reduced biodiversity, climate change, eutrophication, acidification, particulate emissions, noise and emissions of toxic substances such as persistent organic compounds, heavy metals and radioactive substances, and how these affect different species and other parts of the ecosystems. For selected environmental effects, trends in environmental impact linked to changing energy use are investigated using chemical and biological data from SLU’s environmental monitoring databases, in the form of calculation exercises. Debates and role-plays are used as tools to gain experience of the kind of values that are often addressed in environmental issues in society. This part of the course is examined by an exam.

In an individual project work, the student analyses energy system solutions from an environmental perspective and evaluates measures to improve these to reduce environmental impact and to better connect to environmental and climate goals. The work is presented in writing and orally and discussed at a round table discussion.

Formats and requirements for examination

- Passed mandatory parts (G / U)

- Passed written exam (5/4/3 / U)

- Passed project including: written (5/4 / 3 / U) and oral presentation (G / U), active participation in group discussion (G / U)
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

The prerequisite in statistics is fulfilled through the course Sannolikhet och statistik, course code 1MS005

Responsible department

Department of Aquatic Science and Assessment

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: KE0067

Grading criteria

Betygskriterierna finns som pdf i Canvas

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: No The course is offered as a programme course: Master Programme in Energy Systems Engineering Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 12690 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level (G1F)
Subject: Chemistry
Course code: KE0069 Application code: SLU-10092 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: Swedish Responsible department: Department of Aquatic Science and Assessment Pace: 33%