• University of Leeds

Renewable Energy: Sustainable Electricity Supply with Microgrids

Explore approaches to electrification, microgrids, and how to harness this form of renewable energy to achieve sustainability.

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Renewable Energy: Sustainable Electricity Supply with Microgrids

  • 2 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn and assess different electrification approaches from around the world

On this two-week course, you will learn how electricity is generated globally and explore different approaches to electrification. You will then learn technical aspects of electrification options via a national grid, off grid, micro and mini grids and reflect on the barriers to affordable, clean and fair access to electricity.

Explore what a microgrid is and how to plan for one

You will get an overview of a microgrid and explore when and how to use them. You will then understand the costs and planning considerations of designing a microgrid and explore PyEPLAN, a tool used for the design and operation of optimised microgrid networks. This will give you the skills to make your own business case for a microgrid implementation.

Consider the socio-economic and environmental implications of microgrids

Through real-life case studies, you will investigate how social and economic impacts of a microgrid system are measured through regulatory, technical, and financial measures.

Explore the technical design of microgrids

Focusing on the technical aspects of designing a microgrid, you will develop a better understanding of the tools available and be able to evaluate them within a design context. Alongside technical exploration, you will also consider the design criteria and how these match real-world scenarios.

Develop practical skills that will help you to develop real-life energy solutions

This skills-based course will enable you to put into practice the knowledge you’ve acquired by conducting a feasibility study for creating your own microgrid in a small village and accessing its impact. You will also have the chance to delve deeper by accessing more technical information to help you develop your expertise and explore the topic further.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Jon Lovett: Microgrids could be the key to sustainable energy access globally because they are flexible, efficient, reliable and incorporate renewable energy sources. In this course, you will explore microgrids, learn about the different approaches to electrification globally, consider off grid innovations and look into how this technology could be utilised to develop sustainable energy solutions in a wide range of communities. You’ll look at the planning and technical design of microgrids, and explore the socioeconomic impact of their adoption through case studies from around the world. You’ll also learn about different modelling tools and how a range of design approaches work in practice. You’ll then apply the knowledge you’ve acquired by completing a feasibility study for selecting and designing your own microgrid.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds If you want to understand microgrids and develop skills that you can readily use, join this course today.


  • Week 1

    How affordable, and clean is global access to electricity?

    • Welcome

      Before you get started, take some time to find out about this course and what you will be learning about. You will also have the opportunity to meet other learners and plan your learning journey.

    • Global access to electricity

      In this activity you will learn about the global access to electricity and the Multi-Tier framework. You will learn if this access is equal and how access to electricity and its quality is measured.

    • Electrification in developing countries

      In this activity, you will explore the different approaches to electrification, the benefits, and drawbacks of each approach, and some of the considerations required when designing an electricity system.

    • Whole Systems approach to microgrid design

      In this activity, you will learn about microgrids, why they are used and how. You will also look at the costs and planning considerations before exploring PyEPLAN, a planning tool.

    • Summary

      You have now reached the end of week 1. In this activity, you will review the global access to electricity, the UN sustainable development goal seven, and the various approaches to electrification.

  • Week 2

    Designing a microgrid system

    • About week two

      Welcome to week 2. This week you will investigate the technical aspects of microgrids and analyse its social and economic impact. You will then plan a microgrid design with the help of PyEPLAN and create a feasibility study.

    • What are the social and economic impacts of a microgrid?

      In this activity, you will explore the socio-economic barriers to microgrid deployment. You will investigate how social and economic impacts of a microgrid system are measured through regulatory, technical and financial measures.

    • What are the technical design considerations of a microgrid?

      In this activity, you will focus on the technical aspects of designing a microgrid.

    • Create your own whole system feasibility study

      As mentioned at the beginning of this course, you now have the opportunity to create your own feasibility study for the use of microgrids.

    • Summary

      This week you explored the technical aspects of microgrid design and created you own feasibility study. You will now review and reflect on your learning.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the basic principles of energy networks and microgrids.
  • Discuss the global electricity access and distribution, and the principals of universal access to clean energy through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.
  • Investigate the interdisciplinary approaches to renewable energy.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of different approaches to electrification.
  • Compare the interaction between technical, social, economic and environmental components of electrification.
  • Develop basic practical skills for the development of integrated energy networks and microgrids.
  • Evaluate the social and economic impacts of microgrid technologies.
  • Investigate the methods used in the technical design of microgrids.

Who is the course for?

The technical course is designed for anyone interested in renewable energy, achieving sustainable electrification solutions and microgrids. It will be of particular interest to professionals in the energy industry, and NGOs, academic researchers, as well as students studying relevant disciplines such as electrical engineering. The course features examples and case studies from Uganda and Indonesia and so it will be of particular interest to communities from these countries as well as countries with similar energy needs. This course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course, you will have achieved eight hours of CPD time.

Who will you learn with?

Jon Lovett is Chair in Global Challenges in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds and works on institutional economics.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Endorsers and supporters

funded by


funded by

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council logo

funded by

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council logo

content provided by


content provided by


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GIRA logo

content provided by

Resilience Development Initiative logo

content provided by

Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation logo

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Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) logo

content provided by


content provided by


content provided by

University of Strathclyde

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  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$44/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 23 Dec 2022

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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