EAS 522: Energy and Environmental Policy


Course Title

Energy and Environmental Policy

Course Code

EAS 522

Course Type




Instructor’s Name

Assoc. Prof. Theodoros Zachariades (Lead Instructor), Dr. Nestor Fylaktos, Dr. Constantinos Taliotis



Lectures / week

1 (3 hour)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

This course focuses on policies to manage energy resources in a world constrained by finite natural resources and global climate change. It equips students with advanced knowledge of energy and environmental topics and calculation methods, in combination with knowledge of economic principles in order to address energy and environmental management issues at different scales – firm, national and global level. The course highlights the importance of developing a long-term energy strategy, presents key indicators that are used to describe the energy system of a country or a firm and its environmental impact, provides methods and tools to calculate such indicators, and outlines policy options for improving energy efficiency and promoting green mobility. Through a number of case studies, the course will demonstrate that real-world solutions to energy and environmental challenges require a combination of economic and technological knowledge in order to address political and behavioural barriers and achieve progress towards sustainability.

Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

- Perform calculations at national and corporate level of energy system indicators and the environmental impact of energy systems; and understand the factors influencing the evolution of the above indicators and impacts.

- Analyse trends in energy demand and carry out demand forecasts with methodologies similar to those used by governments, international organizations and energy companies.

- Conduct financial appraisals of energy investments by combining the use of economic data with knowledge of principles of energy conversion in order to calculate metrics such as the Net Present Value and the Internal Rate of Return of an energy investment, and the Levelized Cost of Energy Production for different power generation technologies.

- Perform cost-effectiveness assessments of energy conservation and emission reduction measures, from the perspectives of both public policymakers and private investors.

- Comprehend basic priorities of national and global energy policies (competitiveness, energy security, environmental protection), their synergies and their trade-offs.

- Understand the ‘energy-water nexus’ and the interactions between energy and water policies under global climate change conditions.

- Identify the types of policy instruments (regulations and economic incentives) to reduce energy consumption and air emissions in different sectors of the economy, and critically analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each instrument type under real-world political, financial and behavioural constraints.

- Utilize the above technical and economic knowledge in applied energy and environmental policy research.



Background Requirements


Course Content

1. Importance of energy for economy and society. Objectives of energy policy (competitiveness, sustainability, security of supply) and trade-offs between them.

2. Energy balances & energy system indicators. Primary, secondary, final and useful energy. Calculation of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Numerical problems.

3. Economics of energy demand: Consumer and producer surplus. Energy demand elasticities. Econometric analysis.

4. Economics of energy supply: Financial appraisal of energy investments – Calculation of the levelized cost of energy for different technologies.

5. Energy efficiency economics and policy – Limitations of technological approaches for assessing the real-world cost-effectiveness of energy policy options.

6. The ‘energy-water nexus’ – Interdependencies between production and consumption of energy and water and the need for integrated policies in a world facing climate change

7. Calculation of marginal emission abatement costs: Theory and practice.

8. Sustainable mobility – Policies to reduce energy use and emissions in transportation.

9. Case study 1 on the importance of energy for the economy: The cost of power outages from a real-world power plant accident.

10. Case study 2 on environmental policy instruments: Lessons from ‘dieselgate’ on the importance of regulatory and economic policies to promote environmental sustainability.

11. Case study 3 on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of energy investments.

Teaching Methodology

Lectures, seminars. 


Bhattacharyya S.C., 2011. Energy Economics – Concepts, Issues, Markets and Governance; Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-0-85729-268-1

Bhattacharyya S.C and Timilsina, G., 2009. Energy Demand Models for Policy Formulation. Policy Research Working Paper 4866, World Bank, Washington, DC.

Gillingham K. and Palmer K., 2014. Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: Policy Insights from Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Volume 8, Issue 1, Winter 2014, Pages 18–38.

Zachariadis T. and Poullikkas A., 2012. The Costs of Power Outages: A Case Study from Cyprus. Energy Policy 51, 630–641 (material for case study 1).

Zachariadis T., 2016. After ‘dieselgate’: Regulations or economic incentives for a successful environmental policy? Atmospheric Environment 138, 1–3 (material for case study 2).

Sotiriou C., Michopoulos A. and Zachariadis T., On the cost-effectiveness of national economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions abatement measures. Energy Policy 128 (2019) 519–529 (material for case study 3).

Vogt-Schilb A. and Hallegatte S., 2014. Marginal abatement cost curves and the optimal timing of mitigation measures. Energy Policy 66, 645–653 (material for case study 3).


Coursework, essays, presentations.