Renewable Electricity? What are the options?

Tackle the issue of renewable electricity generation by exploring a balanced overview of options required to provide electricity in the future, minimising environmental...
Target Audience
High school science and geography teachers.
1 review

Learning Areas

General Description

Purpose: To equip high school science and geography teachers to tackle the issue of renewable electricity generation by providing a balanced overview of the various options required to provide electricity in the future while minimising environmental damage.

Focus of Course: Providing technical details on the various renewable technologies to provide electricity in the future and on conducting a realistic evaluation of these technologies.

Type of Course: Short (2 hour) online course

Content: Based on a section of the current 5 hr Online course ‘Sustainable Energy: An Unbiased Review of Options’.
Participants would be provided with a wide range of educational resources for use in the classroom on renewable energy, including PowerPoint slides, videos, reports.
The course has close links with the Australian Curriculum:
o Unit 3: “Living on Earth – extracting, using and managing Earth resources” of the Senior Secondary Science/Earth and Environmental Science syllabus
o Unit 1: “Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics” of the Senior Secondary Science/Physics syllabus
o Unit 4 “The changing Earth – the cause and impact of Earth hazards” (Earth and Environmental Science)
o Year 7 Science on renewables (ACSSU116)
o Year 8 Science on science and technology finding solutions to contemporary issues (ACSHE135)
o Year 8 Science/Gifted and Talented Students on “Meeting Future Energy Needs”
o Year 6 Science: Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity (ACSSU219)
o A number of general Geography units.


High school science and geography teachers.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Most TTA online courses are available with an Online Subscription. For a little more than the price of one course, you can gain up to 20 PD hours per year. Learn more HERE.

A short online course is delivered over 1-3 weeks in duration and is worth 2-3 PD hrs depending on the course content and its objectives. Participants will not need to take time off, the course date is the START date only, end dates will be advertised with course hours.

Based closely on from the current course ‘Sustainable Energy: An Unbiased Review of Options’. Check out the detail below in the session outlines.

This course is always open and you can join at any time.

Please note that we run this online course on the Open Learning platform, and you should expect an invitation to the course within 2 working days. There are no set times when you must attend any webinars etc, everything you need will be ready to access inside the course. If you have any problems accessing the course please contact and we will assist you.

This course contributes to 2.0 professional development hours.


  Start Date Location Availability Price    
Enrol Now 01/03/2018 Online Places available $89 + GST Enrol Now



25 minutes

Discuss motivations for changing our energy production and use; define terms; put Australia’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in perspective; introduce a new methodology in which we use a single set of personal units everyone can relate to; view videos by Bill Gates on “Energy – Innovating to Zero” and David MacKay “How Many Light Bulbs”.

Wind Energy

25 minutes

Wind energy is currently the cheapest source of large-scale renewable energy. The physics of wind turbines will be reviewed. Wind energy will be determined as a function of land area, wind speed, turbine diameter, wind fluctuations, etc. Renewables are diffuse (that is, they deliver only a small quantity of power per unit area of land), so if we want renewable facilities to supply power on a scale at all comparable to our consumption, those facilities must be very big. Australia’s current wind farms will be discussed.

Solar Energy and Battery Storage

30 minutes

The application of solar thermal will be reviewed for both hot water and for electricity generation. The physics, development and application of solar photovoltaics to electricity generation will be discussed, both for rooftop applications and solar farms. Improvements in battery technology and lower costs will likely transform the residential electricity landscape over the next 30 years.

Hydro, Biomass Combustion, Geothermal, Wave and Tide

20 minutes

The current status and future potential of each of the above energy sources will be discussed in turn.

Conclusions and Resources for Teachers

20 minutes

Briefly consider possible energy plans for the future (up to 2050). Provide copies of slides from the present course and review some resources (videos, online tools, relevant games, etc) that are available for use in the classroom.

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.

Renewable Electricity? What are the options?
by Nathan Welburn on 02/12/2015

Course was really succinct and informative
Had so much information packed into such a small time frame, this was really beneficial. If you are looking for a course that is quick but really informs you of the different renewable energy options than this course is great.

About the team

Brian Sowerby


Brian Sowerby recently retired as Chief Research Scientist and Program Manager (Instrumentation and Control) with CSIRO Minerals. He obtained a BSc (Hons 1) from the University of NSW and a PhD in physics from the Australian National University. Following two years post-doctoral work in Canada, Brian has carried out research and development in Australia on the application of on-line analysis techniques in the mineral, energy and security industries. His work led to the commercialisation of a number of on-line analysis instruments and he has received many awards for this work including the prestigious Australia Prize in 1992.

This course is FREE with Online Subscription


If you hold a current TTA Subscription you can enrol into this course for free. To learn more, visit

Please review the course details to learn how many PD hours this course contributes.