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Energy, Economic and Environmental Scenarios

Técnico Lisboa
Enrollment is Closed

General description

This is a short massive open online course (MOOC) that combines videos and quizzes that teach about the relationships between economic growth, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. These relationships are used to develop scenarios at the national level. In the next edition, the course will also include a didactic game.

Target audience

The target audience are undergraduate and graduate engineering students with an interest in this topic.

Main goals

By the end of the course it is expected that students are able to:

  • Understand and explain the concepts of: exergy, exergy efficiency and GDP;
  • Determine and use the relationship between economic growth and exergy efficiency;
  • Build constrained economic, energy and environmental scenarios that are consistent – using the interactive tools provided for such;
  • Consolidate knowledge related to national energy balances, environmental impacts associated with energy use and the relevance of environmental policies on energy use in all economic sectors.


  • It is important that students have a basic knowledge on thermodynamics.


This course is about developing scenarios at the national level that are consistent with the relationships between exergy efficiency and economic growth, while relating this to environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions. The topics to be addressed in this course are:

Topic 1: concepts of energy, exergy and related efficiencies.
Topic 2: energy flow stages.
Topic 3: the relationship of exergy and economic growth.
Topic 4: the rebound effect of economic growth.
Topic 5: labor, capital and total factor productivity.
Topic 6: scenario-making.

Note: As there are no evaluation activities, this course does not provide certification.


Tânia Sousa

Tânia Sousa

Degree in Environmental Engineering (1998), master in Ecology, Management and Modelling of Marine Systems, (2003), post-graduation in Economy (2007) and PhD (2007) in Environmental Engineering (IST - University of Lisbon) and Earth and Life Sciences (Free University of Amsterdam). Auxiliary Professor, of Environment and Energy, in the Mechanical Engineering Department, where she teaches Energy Management, Energy and Environment, Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere and Applied Ecology. Researcher on MARETEC - Marine, Environment and Technology Center - focusing on the application of thermodynamics to Ecology and Economy, with an emphasis on the metabolism of organisms and societal exergy analysis.

Laura Felício

Laura Felício

MSc in Environmental Engineering (2017), currently PhD student at IST since September 2019. Continued research since master thesis is focused on societal exergy accounting, exergy efficiency and, more recently, material flow accounting.

João Santos

João Santos

MSc in Physics Engineering (2013) at IST, University of Lisbon, and currently PhD student in the Sustainable Energy Systems program from MIT Portugal. Researcher at MARETEC, focusing on the relationships linking energy use/ efficiency and economic growth. Lectured in the Management of Energy Systems, Environmental Economics and Natural Resources courses at IST.

Conducts research on the thermodynamics concepts of useful exergy and exergy efficiency, and their links with economic growth. Alongside assessing the importance of useful exergy and final-to-useful exergy efficiency as drivers of economic growth, studies the implications to future energy demand and growth scenarios.

Ricardo da Silva Vieira

Ricardo da Silva Vieira

MSc in Environmental Engineering, PhD in Environment/ Ecological Economics. Currently, Ricardo is an Auxiliary researcher at MARETEC at Instituto Superior Técnico and Consultant for Terraprima - Serviços Ambientais. With more than 10 years' experience on project management and environmental assessments (regions, companies, products, plans and programs), with focus on mitigation of climate change, agriculture, life cycle assessment, multicriteria analysis, stakeholder participation and qualitative social research.

Co-coordinated several projects involving scenario building, such as the Azores Regional Climate Change Program and the MEET 2020 project. The latter involving participatory scenarios developed with representatives of the major companies in Portugal.

António Alvarenga

António Alvarenga

Founder and CEO of ALVA R&C, Adjunct Associate Professor at Nova SBE (UNL). At Nova SBE (UNL) he teaches "Strategic Foresight and Scenario Planning" (Master in Management) and is responsible for several executive education courses and modules in the field of Scenarios and Foresight. Researcher at CEG-IST (UL) and IHC (FCSH, UNL), and a member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (IST, UL). PhD in Management Sciences, MA in European Economic Studies and Degree in Economics.

Over the last 20 years, António has been working in the Foresight/Scenarios, Strategy and Innovation fields. He advised and trained +3000 managers in the areas of Scenario Planning and Thinking, Foresight, Strategy, Horizon Scanning, New Product Development, Innovation and Sustainability.

Rui Prada

Rui Prada

Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and Researcher in the AI for People and Society Research Group at INESC-ID Lisbon. Degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and PhD in the same field from IST. Co-responsible for the creation of the Specialisation in Games of the Master Program in Information Systems and Computer Engineering at IST. Conducts research on social intelligent agents, affective computing, human-agent interaction, computer games, applied gaming and game AI. Founding member of the Portuguese Society of Videogame Sciences and co-author of the book "Design e Desenvolvimento de Jogos".

André Silva

André Silva

MSc student in Information Systems and Computer Engineering. As part of his Master thesis, he is working on a computer game where students of this course can test their learning by taking part in an interactive challenge.

Creative Commons License
The following course and its contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

  3. Classes End

  4. Estimated Effort

    3 hours per week