Green Energy

Green Energy: pillars and dreams

Important note: as there are several notions of physics, this course is recommended for students who have completed the 3rd year of high school.

We talk about it in many areas, it seems at hand and yet we seem nailed to a pole. But why don’t we make the ecological transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy tomorrow? oh come on, by 2030? nooo 2050 … so what are the problems?
In the course, designed and prepared by professors of the Politecnico di Milano of the Department of Energy we will try to answer these questions in a technical and scientific way by focusing on the three main primary sources of energy: water, sun and wind. The main issues related to the possible use of renewable energy will be addressed, from machines and systems for energy conversion, to storage systems passing through issues related to the management of the electricity grid.

Energy scenarios and renewable sources
We will understand together what the current situation is, and what a future one, with specific reference to the massive entry of renewable energy, paying attention to the obstacles and enablers of the ecological transition.

Machines and systems for energy conversion
Renewable primary sources need conversion systems in order to be exploited. But such machines have specificities and limitations as well as in general the exploitation of an energy source. It is necessary to know and understand them in order to use them effectively, even if they seem to be under our eyes every day.

Electrical networks
Have we ever wondered what happens to the distribution network when in an absolutely random way over time and how the intensity is immense in our high/medium and low voltage electricity grids the power converted from renewable sources? We will try to delve into this complex problem.
Vedi tu Franci ma così non va. Sistema pure tu, non serve un tecnico!

It happens very often that there is wind and sun to be used to produce electrical and mechanical power when in reality there is no need: what to do then? “let’s accumulate it” is easy to say …. but accumulating energy is very complex …. and do not think of the batteries of your smartphones but try to think of megawatts.

Guided by professors and researchers of the Politecnico di Milano, students will learn to evaluate the amount of renewable energy available and to understand its management over time. The ultimate goal is to understand the multiple answers to the original question: when will the energy transition to renewables concretely occur?

Technical requirements

To participate in the course, you will need to bring your laptop computer. Under no circumstances may you use a tablet. The necessary software would not be properly supported.
You will need Windows 7 (or later) or Windows Server (2012 R2+) 64-bit, with Office installed.

Before the start of the course, you will have to download the demo version of PowerWorld simulation software:

  • Fill in the form to obtain the Education version of PowerWorld Version 22 demo
  • You will receive an email with a download link
  • Download and install the software

To use Windows programs on Apple computers, you can either use the software Parallels (paid) or use a Bootcamp disk partition (free).

  1. Guide to install Bootcamp (you will need at least 64 GB of free disk space)
  2. To launch Windows from macOS: Finder > StartUp Disk > click on the padlock > Bootcamp Windows (restart)
  3. Once in Windows, you can download and install the programs you need. Then, follow the instructions to download and install PowerWorld as if you have a Windows PC.
  4. To return from Windows to macOS: from the notification area on the bottom right side of the screen, click on the arrow > Bootcamp icon (a tilted square) > “Restart in macOS”

If you have any doubts you can write an email to or join the Telegram group.