Global Energy Transitions and Climate Policy @ TU Wien


This course is part of the Master’s Degree Program in Environmental Technology & International Affairs held at the Technical University Vienna (TU Wien) since spring 2021. The course is designed and delivered by Dr. Behnam Zakeri, including two lectures given by guest speakers Dr. Kavita Surana and Franziska Menten (MSc).


The course offers a general overview on drivers and impacts of global energy transitions. Governing principles of international energy markets are reviewed briefly. Enablers and barriers of global energy transitions are discussed, including technological innovations, socio-behavioral aspects, and economic/political perspectives. Some contemporary topics in global energy transitions, such as, energy access and poverty, and energy and digitalization are discussed too. International environmental and climate agreements are reviewed, with a practical view on monitoring and implementation. The course is multi-disciplinary, suitable for students with different backgrounds, including but not limited to engineering, science, economics, and politics.

Course material (March 2021)

Creative Commons License All material on this page is published under
a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Lecture 1: Global energy resources and markets | pdf (2.4MB)

A short note on energy and development
World energy mix
Fossil energy resources and reserves
International energy markets

Lecture 2: Energy transitions: societal and individual perspectives | pdf (1.9MB)

Energy poverty and justice
Societal and behavioural aspects of energy use
Climate change and behaviour
Digitalization and energy use

Lecture 3: Integration of renewable energy sources: energy storage systems | pdf (2.8MB)

Energy and climate change
Global trends in renewable energy
Potentials and challenges of variable renewables
Energy storage systems
Economics of energy storage

Lecture 4: Energy innovation and energy transitions (by Dr. Kavita Surana) | pdf (9.8MB)

Technological change in the energy sector
Energy technology innovation process
Potentials and barriers of energy innovation
Global energy transitions: case of solar PV

Lecture 5: International environmental and climate agreements (co-lectured with Franziska Menten (MSc)) | pdf (3.7MB)

History of climate agreements
Montreal Protocol: A successful international environmental agreement
International organizations and development
Project implementation and monitoring


The material for Lecture 2 is in parts adopted from the course “Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Energy”, lectured by Prof. Peter Lund, Aalto University, Finland. Many thanks to invited speakers in 2021, Dr. Kavita Surana, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and Franziska Menten (MSc), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Also, special thanks to Isabelle Starlinger (MSc) (Program Coordinator) and Prof. Hans Puxbaum (Program Director) for including this course in the Master’s Degree Program.