18-861   Energy Project Development and Economic Studies

Location: Africa

Units: 6

Semester Offered: Fall

Course discipline


Course concentration

Energy (Kigali)

Intelligent Physical Systems (Pittsburgh)

Course description

This course introduces concepts and tools for the development and analysis of energy-sector or energy-enabled infrastructure projects. Students will learn about the project development processes through case studies in the African context. They will also develop the ability to perform basic technical and economic feasibility assessments through directed projects.

View the course syllabus for more information.

Learning objectives

The course's primary goal is for students to gain experience and skills in developing pre-feasibility and feasibility-level models of energy-sector or energy-enabled projects. Students identify and evaluate techno-economic success factors that define the spread of different use cases. Students should practice and improve their critical thinking skills in technical, social, and financial aspects that relate to these projects.


Students will finish the course with experience articulating and critiquing project proposals, in addition to defining their own self-directed final project.

Content details

Topics include:

  • financial modeling
  • technical performance estimation
  • social and environmental impact assessment
  • regulatory/policy analysis

Past projects have spanned these examples:

  • independent power plants
  • mini/micro grids
  • irrigation projects
  • electric mobility projects




Barry Rawn