AE-341 Arctic Renewable Energy Exploration and Development (10 ECTS)






April 15, 2024


August 05, 2024


September 20, 2024


Autumn semester (Block 5)

Linken solcelle Foto: Lars H. Smedsrud

Grade:Letter grade (A through F)
Course Cost:Fieldwork, NOK 400 (2 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay).
Daily field excursions in the vicinity of Longyearbyen come at no cost for the students. 
Course Capacity Min/Max:10/25 students
Credit reduction / overlap:10 ECTS with AE-841
Language of instruction:English
Examination support material:Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue

Course requirements

Enrolment in a relevant master programme.

Academic content

The course will provide an interdisciplinary survey of tools for assessing the merit, challenges, and risks of different potential renewable energy exploration and development choices in the rapidly changing Arctic.

Learning outcomes

Successful students in this course will be able to identify key considerations, assess strengths and weaknesses of different disciplinary approaches, and be able to marshal appropriate information to develop a targeted set of recommendations for sustainable harvesting and use of energy in the Arctic.

Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:


  • be familiar with terminology in energy production, distribution and storage in remote polar areas
  • have knowledge about present energy use and production in Longyearbyen
  • describe present challenges in Arctic energy supply and use, both locally (in Longyearbyen) and across the Arctic
  • understand present-day considerations about Arctic energy development technically, environmentally, as well as socially
  • identify strengths, weaknesses, and the most important interactions between different disciplinary perspectives


  • define a scope of work that is tractable, but that also represents a meaningful academic contribution
  • apply appropriate disciplinary theory to assess opportunities, challenges, and risks in future Arctic energy development

General competences

  • to analyse present energy use, and have insight into how energy can be supplied and used more sustainably in polar regions in the future
  • generate new competency by integrating lecture and written material with pre-existing knowledge
  • gather necessary information from lecturers, students, and other resources in a small group project
  • effectively communicate practical recommendations on energy production in oral and written form

Learning activities

The course extends over 5-6 weeks including compulsory safety training, and will run in combination with AE-841.

Required advanced reading will provide a survey of relevant issues and background knowledge as well as selected case studies. Lectures will provide a foundational disciplinary framework for analysis. Group exercises as well as excursions and fieldwork will be used to apply knowledge from lectures and written material. Individuals will be tasked with compiling a subset of the information required by their group in the self-study time through assignments. Groups will have ample time to integrate their knowledge and assessment into a written recommendation in the form of a white paper and an oral presentation on their recommendation.

The excursions and field work vary from year to year but is based on visits to local energy producers and users.


  • Total lecture hours: 35 hours
  • Total seminar hours: 10 hours
  • Total exercise hours: 10 hours
  • Excursions: 20 hours
  • Field work: 20 hours
  • Report writing: 60 hours
  • Self-studies: 100 hours

Compulsory learning activities

  • Safety training
  • Assignments
  • Fieldwork
  • Presentations

All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.


Method Percentage of final grade
Group project report (written and oral)25%
Oral exam75%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.