Energy Transition

Energy Transition | Energy Transition Fundamentals

Fundamentals of Low Carbon Energy

Course Code: N583
Instructors:  Mark Ireland
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
2 days
4 sessions


Business Impact: Participants attending this course will significantly enhance their understanding of alternative renewable energy sources, decarbonization, and carbon capture and storage. Futhermore, they will acquire the skills needed to evaluate low carbon energy solutions across diverse sectors and industries.

The decarbonization of energy systems to achieve net zero carbon emissions will likely require the rapid development of inexpensive and emissions free electricity and alternative solutions for where fuels dominate. It will also require ways in which to quickly and cheaply balance large and uncertain differences between demand and generation. For those organisations with a background in the production of hydrocarbons, many are now looking at low carbon or potentially negative emission, revenue streams to not just support the energy transition globally, but also for long term sustainable business model. Around the globe this includes, but is not limited to, offshore wind, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production and storage and geothermal energy.

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom course comprising a mixture of lectures, discussion, case studies, and practical exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Describe the need and context for the energy transition.
  2. Evaluate the potential role of different alternative and low carbon energy solutions.
  3. Measure the challenges and opportunities of decarbonising different sectors / industries.
  4. Identify the fundamentals of a hydrogen economy.
  5. Identify the fundamentals of CCS in energy systems.
This course will focus on 1) current energy usage globally and the associated emissions, 2) established technologies that can already drive down emissions and 3) consider different pathways for decarbonising energy. Specifically, the course will cover key concepts that underpin many strategies:

Alternative and renewable energy

  • In some cases renewables are now growing faster than demand and replacing fossil fuels, the session will describe these energy sources and their future growth potential



  • Decarbonisation of energy and transport systems will require a concerted effort to both replace fossil fuels with alternative and renewable energy sources, as well as demand reduction through improved efficiencies. The session will explore these concepts in industry, residential, transportation and agriculture.


  • A much-discussed possibility for reducing reliance on natural gas, hydrogen could be an important part of decarbonising energy systems. There a number of ways in which hydrogen can be produced, stored and utilised and these will be summarised.

Carbon Capture and Storage

  • CCS affords one of the best strategies for mitigating carbon dioxide emissions, where those emissions cannot currently be avoided. Across the world there are now a number of industrial scale projects that plan to safely store CO2 under the ground permanently. The session will cover core concepts that underpin CCS.

The course is aimed at those with no specific technical background and should be accessible to all levels.

Mark Ireland

Mark Ireland is Lecturer in Energy Geoscience at Newcastle University and has a breadth of expertise covering the role of geosciences in decarbonising energy systems. In his current role his research interests span the interpretation and analysis of geophysical and geological data, with applications across geothermal energy, hydrogen storage, and carbon capture & storage. 

Prior to his career in academia, Mark worked at bp from 2011 to 2019 across a variety of technical roles, including exploration and development, well planning and operations, and new business development. Mark worked in exploration and appraisal teams in areas such as West Africa, South America, India, and Azerbaijan. During this time, he was responsible for leading technical evaluations of exploration opportunities; developing plans for new high value opportunities across geographies and technologies; managing industry-academia collaborations; providing advice for computing solutions.

Alongside his energy research, Mark is involved in both undergraduate taught programmes and post graduate research. He contributes to the strategic direction of Newcastle University’s energy research through the Centre for Energy. He is also Associate Dean Global Partnerships and External Affairs, Faculty of Science Agriculture and Engineering where he provides leadership and oversight of the strategy and implementation of actions to improve the faculty’s global profile and networks.

Affiliations & Accreditation
PhD Durham University - Geology
MESci Cardiff University - Exploration Geology
AdvancedHE - Fellow
PESGB - Member
Geological Society London - Fellow 
Energy Group of the Geological Society London - Committee Member
Earth Science, System and Society (ES3) – Associate Editor
NERC UK Geoenergy Observatories Science Advisory Group - Member

Courses Taught
N580: Exploration and Development of Deep Aquifer Geothermal for Direct Heat Use
N583: Fundamentals of Low Carbon Energy

CEU: 1.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 14 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.