Start Date

2 April 2018


8 weeks

Time required

2,5 hours per week





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General description of the course

The course forms part of the Specialization on “Off-grid renewable energy systems. Towards affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity for all_2nd Edition”.

In this first course, you will find out how off-grid renewable electricity systems can transform lives in poor and remote communities. You’ll assess the technical, social, policy and economic features of off-grid systems, and how projects can be successfully implemented to provide sustainable electricity in developing countries.

More specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Off-grid Renewable Electricity: A primer.
  2. Social value of off-grid renewable electricity.
  3. Guidance for project sustainability.
  4. Towards a smart electricity access framework.

Strategic objectives

  • Discover the sector of the off-grid renewable energy systems and their importance for energy access.
  • Understand the challenges and conditions to make off-grid renewable electricity projects happen, even at the bottom-of-the pyramid.

Intended Learning Outcomes   

On completing this course, you will:

  • Know about the most recent trends,  main characteristics and applications of off-grid renewable electricity systems.
  • Have the abilities to assess the benefits and social value of off-grid renewable electricity projects in developing countries.
  • Have the skills to foster the sustainability of off-grid renewable electricity projects in developing countries.
  • Know how to define the principles of a smart energy framework to enable off-grid renewable energy systems.
  • Have developed a network of contacts and knowledge sources within and outside the course environment.

Methodology and assessment         

The learning methodology builds upon:

  • 21 video lessons, with theory, case studies and animation.
  • Supplementary material for each lesson, including reports, articles, websites.
  • Debates in the forum, to exchange ideas with the other learners.
  • Hangout sessions, a good opportunity to discuss directly with the experts.

The assessment consists in self-evaluation (quizzes).

Target audience

The course is for professionals who are looking for innovative and proven solutions for enabling universal access to sustainable energy.

You are a practitioner or researcher of the renewable or energy sectors, you work for a non-governmental organization in the development or energy fields, you are an entrepreneur or work for a company committed to socially responsible business in developing countries, you work for a cooperation agency and want to identify prospects of off-grid solutions, you are a student at the end of your undergraduate studies, this course is for you!


  • A working level in English (writing, reading, listening) is required.
  • No technical or engineering background is required. A minimal knowledge of the energy sector or of developing countries is a plus.
  • Undergraduate studies (on-going or finished) in engineering, economics, business or social sciences are recommended but not required.

Participating institutions

Our partners are EOI, that is offering high-level masters and executive programmes in the field of renewable energies, environmental management and sustainable development, and Rooter, that has proven experience producing MOOCs.

The instructors’ team gathers academic experts, representatives of international institutions, practitioners, leaders of for-profit and non-profit organizations, with a multidisciplinary and complementary expertise in the field.

Course director

Maryse Labriet is a consultant and researcher on climate change, sustainable energy and energy modelling, founder of Eneris Environment Energy Consultants in Spain. She is Faculty Lecturer at the EOI-Madrid. 

She has invited practitioners, business developers, academic experts and non-profit organisation leaders, all active in different countries, to share their expertise in this specialization. Discover the full list in each course!


Laura Merlo



1. Off-grid Renewable Electricity: A primer.                      

2. Social value of off-grid renewable electricity.              

3. Guidance for project sustainability.                                 

4. Towards a smart electricity access framework.