9 Best Online Renewable Energy Courses and Certification Programs 2021[Free]

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In this list of best renewable energy courses and certification programs online, you are assured of the best online resources for learning. We took the time to get these courses from different reputable MOOC platforms online.

Renewable power is booming, as innovation brings down costs and starts to deliver the promises of a clean energy future. 

The American generation of solar and wind energy breaks records and merges into the national energy grid without compromising reliability.

So, if you are on the lookout for the best renewable energy course to enroll, this list will provide you with it. In addition, generally, any renewable energy course you choose here, you are going with certificates as well.

Talking about the certifications, it is a joy to be certified when you take on any course to improve yourself. Whether Offline or online, the feeling is awesome.

Also, it will add value to your resume or CV. Certainly, when going for a job application or requesting a pay rise in your current job.

Table Of Contents

Free Renewable Energy Certification programs online

The renewable energy courses on this list will guarantee you certificates upon completion as I said earlier. Also, the list includes free courses as well. In fact, most courses here are free.

Meanwhile, let’s get to know some basics things on this topic.

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy, often called clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly being renewed. For example, sunlight or wind continues to sparkle and blow, even if its availability depends on weather and climate.

While renewable energy is often seen as a new technology, nature’s energy has long been harnessed for heating, transport, lighting, and more.

The winds forced ships to move in seas and windmills to grind grains. The sun provided heat during the day and light fires helped stay until night.

But in the past 500 years or so, humans have increasingly turned to cheaper and dirtier energy sources, such as coal and broken gas.

What is dirty energy?

Non-renewable or “dirty” energy includes fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. Non-renewable energy sources are available in limited quantities and take a long time to renew.

When we pump gas to the station, we use a limited resource of crude oil that has been around since prehistoric times.

Non-renewable energy sources are also found in certain parts of the world, which makes them more abundant in some countries than others.

Alternatively, each country can access sunlight and wind.

The priority of non-renewable energy can also improve national security by reducing the country’s dependence on exports from countries rich in fossil fuels.

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Many non-renewable energy sources can endanger the environment or human health. For example, oil drilling may require extraction from the Canadian boreal forest.

The technology associated with fracking can cause earthquakes and water pollution, and coal power plants pollute the air. To top it all, these activities contribute to global warming.

The Types of Renewable Energy Sources

Solar Energy

Humans have been using solar energy for thousands of years to grow grains, keep food warm and dry.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, more energy falls from the sun to the earth in one hour than that consumed by everyone in the world in one year.

Today we use the sun’s rays in several ways: to heat homes and businesses, to heat water, or to control devices.

Solar or photovoltaic (PV) cells are made of silicon or other materials that convert sunlight directly into electricity.

Distributed solar systems generate electricity locally for homes and businesses. Either through rooftop panels or community projects that supply electricity to entire parts of the city.

Solar parks can generate electricity for thousands of homes and use mirrors to concentrate sunlight on several hectares of solar cells. Floating solar parks, or “floatovoltaics,” can be an effective use of sewer systems and bodies of water that are not environmentally sensitive.

Note: Solar energy systems don’t produce air pollutants or greenhouse gases. As long as they are responsibly sited, most solar panels have few environmental impacts beyond the manufacturing process.

Wind Energy

We are far from the old windmills. Today, turbines that are as tall as skyscrapers and whose turbines are almost the same diameter are on alert around the world.

Wind energy rotates the blades of a turbine that powers an electric generator and generates electricity.

Wind, which accounts for just over 6 percent of US production, has become the cheapest source of energy in many parts of the country.

Major wind energy states in the US include:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Iowa

However, the turbines can be installed anywhere with high wind speeds.

For example on open plains and hills, or even in open water off the coast.

Other Alternative Energy Sources

Hydroelectric Power

Hydropower is the largest renewable source of electricity for electricity in the United States. Although, wind power is expected to take the lead soon.

Hydroelectric power depends on water. Generally water that flows rapidly in a large river or water that falls rapidly from a high point. It converts the power of that water into electricity by turning the blades of a generator turbine.

Biomass Energy 

Biomass is an organic material that comes from plants and animals and includes crops, wood debris, and trees. When biomass is burned, the chemical energy is released as heat and can generate electricity with a steam turbine.

Also, Biomass is often incorrectly described as a clean, renewable fuel and a greener alternative to coal and other fossil fuels for generating electricity.

However, recent scientific findings show that many forms of biomass, especially from forests, cause higher carbon emissions than fossil fuels.

Geothermal Energy

If you have ever relaxed in a hot spring, you have used geothermal energy. Due to the slow decomposition of radioactive particles in rocks at the center of the planet, the Earth’s core is as hot as the sun’s surface.

By drilling deep wells, very hot groundwater is brought to the surface as a hydrothermal resource. It is then pumped through a turbine to generate electricity.

Geothermal plants typically have low emissions when they pump the steam and water they consume into the reservoir.

There are ways to create geothermal plants that do not have underground reservoirs. But there is concern that they may increase the risk of earthquakes in areas that are already considered geological hot spots.


Tidal and wave energy is still in a development phase, but the ocean is always dominated by the moon’s gravity. That makes using its power an attractive option.

Some approaches to tidal energy can harm wildlife, for example, tidal barreges that function similarly to dams and are located in a bay or lagoon.

Like tidal energy, wave energy is based on dam-like structures or devices anchored to the seabed at or directly below the water’s surface.

9 Best Renewable Energy Courses and Certification Programs Online 2021

This list includes both paid and free courses to help you learn various aspects of Renewable Energy. Also, it is ideal for beginners, intermediates, as well as experts.

#1. Solar Energy Engineering Certification by Delft University of Technology (edX)

This best MicroMasters program is available at edX. It is specifically designed to help you improve the knowledge and skills necessary to start a career in solar energy.

In this tutorial, you can adapt to the industry with various functions such as:

  • Solar system installation
  • System design and technology
  • Quality control and reliability testing
  • Device manufacturing and characterization

Also, there are five courses in this program. You can choose one of them based on your previous experience or knowledge.

Benefits of the course

  • Includes numerous learning activities like exercises, readings, real-world applications and videos
  • Learn about fabrication processes of different photovoltaic applications and technologies
  • Learn how to apply techniques and knowledge in real life projects
  • Get information about microgrids design concepts which have PV-systems
  • Ideal for those who want to become a skilled solar energy professional

Course rating: 4.6 out of 5

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#2. Wind Energy by Technical University of Denmark (DTU) (Coursera)

Henrik Bredmose, associate professor at Technical University of Denmark (DTU). He has extensive experience in the hydrodynamics of water waves.

Through this program, you will have general information about wind energy. If you want to pursue a career in wind energy technology, you must enroll in this course.

You will learn in practical exercises how you can easily perform wind energy calculations. The instructor will teach you the requirements for this green technology.

Also, the course covers various areas such as business, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Benefits of the course

  • Get great information about the wind power industry
  • Get good insights upon all the pertinent aspects of wind energy
  • You will be taught by knowledgeable instructors
  • Understand about wind engineering
  • Hands-on exercises that will walk through the concepts of green technology

Course rating: 4.7 out of 5

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#3. Renewable Energy & Green Building Entrepreneurship by Duke University (Coursera)

Chris Wedding, an award-winning professor at Duke University, has extensive experience teaching over 6,000 students. In this course, he will teach you how to start a new company. In the areas such as:

  • Real estate
  • Finance
  • Energy Environment
  • Engineering

This course focuses on step-by-step advice, practical application, and case study. At the end of this program, you can analyze a successful business in the field of green building or renewable energy.

There are no requirements to participate in this tutorial. It is ideal for university students, as well as for young professionals and mid-careers.

Benefits of the course

  • Well organized lectures by best instructors
  • Perfect for those who have an ambition to become entrepreneurs
  • Get knowledge about future business trends
  • Highly informative videos that make the learning easy
  • Course structure and additional reference materials are excellent
  • It includes projects, an interactive textbook, quizzes and pre-recorded videos

Course rating: 4.6 out of 5

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#4. Sustainable Energy MicroMaster Certification by The University of Queensland (edX)

This MicoMasters program is from the University of Queensland. It is perfect for advanced professionals and mid-career managers committed to sustainable energy.

It is also the ideal course to acquire new skills and knowledge to prepare you for leadership roles.

In this tutorial, you will gain knowledge of risk assessment, scenario planning, engagement skills, communication, and stakeholder management.

Also, it will help you better understand the principles of risk management and sustainability. After successful completion, you will receive a verified certificate in all four courses.

Sign up today and take your skills to the next level.

Benefits of the course

  • There are 5 courses in this certification
  • Define sustainability and its implications for global energy
  • Describe the principles of energy generation, supply, and demand from the range of available technology options
  • Learn how to handle the different transitioning challenges to a low carbon system
  • Most suitable for all those who want to become an energy leader of the future
  • Know the strength and weaken areas of energy technology options for different locations

Course rating: 4.8 out of 5

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#5. Introduction to Sustainable Energy by MIT

The Sustainable Energy program includes transformation, extraction, resource, and end-use technologies. With a focus on global and regional energy compliance.

During this course, trainers provide you with a quantitative framework. In addition, supports you in analyzing and evaluating proposals for energy technology systems. Certainly from the point of view of ecological, economic, social, political, and technical objectives.

If you are a student, you can register for this course. They are taught by the best teachers such as Prof. Michael Golay, Dr. John C. Wright, Prof. William Green Jr. and Randall Field.

Benefits of the course

  • Get information about specific energy technologies
  • Know how to use energy
  • The course includes 8 problem sets
  • Guest lecturers and instructors to examine different conventional and renewable energy production technologies
  • Easily download course material through online
  • Easy to understand video and audio lectures

Course rating: 4.6 out of 5

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#6. MA in Sustainable Energy Program (Johns Hopkins)

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), has designed the MA in Sustainable Energy program(online) for professionals who want to help shape the future of renewable energy.

Also, with a state-of-the-art curriculum and a world-renowned faculty. Only few other programs can achieve the depth of practical experience that the Johns Hopkins SAIS program offers.

With advancements in power distribution and storage as well as decreasing technology costs, it is a pivotal time for the renewable energy sector.

Utilities are beginning to rethink their infrastructure to leverage lower-cost alternatives to fossil fuels. And challenges like the climate crisis have created global pressure to find innovative and practical solutions.

Students in the sustainable energy master’s degree program learn from experts at the forefront of their fields. As avid researchers and practitioners with decades of energy sector experience. Johns Hopkins professors bring their real-world research and cutting-edge use cases to the classroom. 

Whether you are in the public or private sector, this degree will provide you with the foundational knowledge and analytical framework to address a wide array of issues.


Benefits of the course

  • Energy and environmental policy
  • Advances and challenges in sustainable energy
  • Overview of the most important sustainable energy governance
  • Systems analysis for sustainable energy

Course rating: 4.6 out of 5

Also read: The Definitive List Of Most Popular Courses On Udemy In 2021

#7. Energy Principles and Renewable Energy(edX)

This course addresses the important global problem of the transition to a sustainable energy future.

Also, this course covers basic energy terms and concepts. Power systems; the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels from power generation; and describes and evaluates a range of technologies for renewable energy.

Technologies analyzed for renewable energy include bioenergy, geothermal energy, solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectric energy, and marine energy.

Interestingly, this course is part of the Sustainable Energy MicroMasters series. You may take the course as a single course or complete all four courses in the series.

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer their courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses they have received are not broad enough to allow them to offer this course in all locations. It’s a concern to them though.

Benefits of the course

  • You will learn the language of energy
  • The challenges involved in providing sustainable energy supply
  • Key scientific principles that underpin energy systems
  • Basics of a number of available renewable energy options
  • The role of energy storage

Course rating: 4.7 out of 5

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#8. Incorporating Renewable Energy in Electricity Grids(edX)

Wind turbines and solar panels are likely to play a critical role in achieving a low-carbon energy sector. One that helps tackle climate change and local pollution as a result of fossil fuel power generation.

Because wind and solar energy production is climate dependent, it is variable in nature. In addition, somewhat more uncertain than the production of conventional fossil fuel generators.

Therefore, it is important to consider how to manage the high penetrations of solar and wind energy. In other to maintain the reliability of the electrical system.

This introductory course, led by leading academics from Imperial College London with technical contributions and inputs. From the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado), discusses the challenges of variable energy renewable in achieving a stable and reliable electrical system. The challenges can be addressed and at what cost.

The course shows the concepts using various countries and specific context examples.

Policymakers, regulators, grid operators, and investors in renewable energy will benefit from a solid understanding of these considerations.

Benefits of the course

  • Explain how electricity systems have traditionally operated with baseload and load-following conventional generators
  • Introduce and explain the basic operational characteristics of the main types of electricity generation technologies, including fossil fuel, nuclear and renewables
  • Describe how electricity system operations change when there are increasing penetrations of variable renewables
  • Discuss the technologies, measures and operating practices at our disposal to cost-effectively incorporate and manage high penetrations of variable renewables
  • Understand how different countries are managing the integration of variable renewables into their electricity systems.

Course rating: 4.4 out of 5

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#9. Renewable Energy Courses (Udemy)

Udemy learning platform presents you with the basics of renewable energy programs as well as advanced topics. If you are intermediate, these Udemy courses will surely give you a good purchase.

The courses here covers probably the future of energy. It also considers the evidence of resource depletion; potential solutions, challenges we face in implementing the solutions; and outline 3 possible energy economies, that will be mixed together to hopefully solve the loss of economically available fossil fuels.

You’ll also know about TRNSYS. It is a powerful software package for developing energy models of a huge range of thermal systems.

It has been used by students, researchers, and companies around the world for the last 35 years.

Benefits of the course

  • Learn how to simulate the performance of renewable energy systems using TRNSYS 18
  • Understanding wind: We will be looking at the fundamentals of wind assessment
  • You will be able to recognize the challenges of renewable energy transition
  • You will be able to identify countries and projects leading RE energy transition

Course rating: 4.2 out of 5

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One thing you need to know about this list of the best renewable energy courses is that you will be certified also. They are been sorted from the best resources online. Most of them are from reputable Universities in the world.

So, when you enroll in any of the courses here, it is a certainty that you will get enough value on renewable energy. In addition, this list of best renewable energy courses focuses on different aspects of renewable energy.

Also, the list of best renewable energy courses contains both free and paid courses. So, get on, and start learning.

Lastly, if this list met what you searched for or needed, help share this with your friends now. Also, use the comment section to tell us your thoughts on the list, we’ll love to get feedback from you. Cheers!

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