ECON42360 Energy Economics and Policy

Academic Year 2023/2024

The energy sector plays a crucial role in the global economy; it is also undergoing significant change as it transitions from a fossil fuel-based system to one with a rising share of renewable energy and the sector decarbonises. Energy economics involves the use of economic theory to understand and solve the challenges facing energy markets. This module explores the theoretical and empirical perspectives of the economics of energy demand, energy supply, energy markets, policy instruments affecting energy, and carbon markets. It applies economic analysis to energy policy and covers subjects such as energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, the design of policy instruments, smart grids, electricity market structures and externalities associated with energy generation and use.
The course is hands-on and interactive and encourages students to explore topics in energy economics in more detail through readings, group work, and participation in class.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the key issues in energy economics and policy.
- Understand the main economics methodologies for the analysis of energy policy and issues.
- Recognise key challenges from energy markets, energy systems and technologies.
- Understand results from academic papers, reports and wide variety of literature on energy and use them in the analysis of empirical energy economic and policy problems.
- Identify the types of data and analysis needed to analyse challenges presented in the energy agenda.
- Write papers and reports to a high standard and quality on issues relating to global energy policy.

Indicative Module Content:

The key topics covered in this module are:
1. Introduction to energy economics
2. Economics of energy demand
3. Economics of energy supply
4. Electricity markets
5. International energy and climate change policy

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The teaching of each topic follows a common approach: it begins with an overview of the issue, presents the economic theory, shows the empirical application and discusses policy options. Readings are set for each class for discussion and emphasis given to the application of economic theory to real-world energy applications. Students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the material through the use of interactive activities such as class exercises and the preparation of a group presentation and report. Finally, the course includes guest lectures from senior industry, policymakers and stakeholders, who bring to the classroom their expertise in the energy policy and energy research arena in Ireland.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
ECON42270 - Energy Economics & Policy, EEEN40380 - Energy Economics and Policy

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: Final exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Examination: Midterm online exam Week 6 Yes Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Group Project: Group project, presentation, and participation. A project will be assigned in groups. It will require analysis of energy policy relating to a country or region. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback is provided as a group on the group project report and presentation. Individual feedback is given on the presentation. Students have the opportunity to peer review their presentations. The module coordinator provides feedback on the presentations, on request, in advance of the presentation date.

Name Role
Glenn McNamara Tutor