EME 444
Global Energy Enterprise

EME 444 Syllabus


This syllabus is divided into several sections. You can read it sequentially by scrolling down the length of the document or by clicking on any of the links below to “jump” to a specific section. It is essential that you read the entire document as well as material covered in the course Orientation. Together these serve as our course "contract."


Dan Kasper

  • A note about contacting me: The best way to reach me with or without an appointment is via email. Please use Canvas email (see below). I check my email frequently, and will respond to you within 1 business day. If you have a question regarding course content (unless you do not want others to see it) I request that you use the Questions about EME 444?  discussion board. This may help other students who have the same or similar question.
  • Phone: (302)747-0638. You are welcome to call or text. If you need immediate help, a text message is the best way to get a hold of me. If I do not respond immediately, I will respond as soon as possible.
  • E-mail: Please use the course e-mail system (see the Inbox tab in Canvas). It is important that you use Canvas email to contact me regarding course-related material.  This will ensure that your email is given the proper level of urgency!
  • Office Hours: I will check for and reply to messages at least once each workday, and most weekend days. Please contact me to make an appointment if you’d like to speak to me at a given time. I am flexible and will make every effort to accommodate your schedule. My schedule is generally most open weekday evenings and weekends

Course Overview

Description: Industry perspective on the resources, technologies, engineering approaches, and externalities involved in satisfying worldwide energy demand profitably and sustainably.  A strong focus is placed on non-market actors and stakeholders.

Prerequisites: ECON 104 or equivalent, EGEE 102, EGEE 120. Please note, per university prerequisite policy students who do not meet these prerequisites may be dis-enrolled during the first 10-day free add-drop period. If you have not yet completed all of these courses, please contact the instructor to request a waiver or drop this course and retake it at a later date.

The global energy enterprise is the collective industry supplying the energy that an increasing majority of the world depends upon. The industry consists of many competing yet interdependent organizations. Some energy producers are large, but many are small; some are independently owned, others state-owned, and still others a little of both. A desired competitive advantage may be viewed in the context of the market environment alone. However, in the industry of global energy enterprise, a significant advantage can be won or lost due to nonmarket forces and strategies. The activities of the energy industry tend to generate large externalities that may be obscured, exported, or passed on to future generations. Social networking tools have reduced costs of coordination for collective action against externalization, potentially leading to impediments and even loss of access to markets. This suggests the critical need to learn both market and nonmarket strategies in the global energy enterprise.

The energy enterprise is technology-intensive. A vast technological infrastructure and highly skilled workforce is needed to discover, assess, extract, process, and distribute energy resources sufficient to power our globalized world. As energy demand increases, and easily recoverable resources are constrained, the enterprise relies increasingly on innovative technologies and engineering solutions to sustain production and profits. A primary objective of the course is to ensure students’ familiarity with established and emerging energy production, processing, and distribution technologies.

The energy enterprise is also capital-intensive, due to the high cost of building and maintaining energy infrastructures, and sustaining research and development efforts. Government regulation is often necessary to minimize risks that discourage capital investments and to incentivize investments in emerging technologies that may help countries achieve energy security and reduce the detrimental impacts of fossil fuel use. A secondary objective of the course is to equip students to prepare and defend recommendations for investments in emerging energy technologies and businesses.

EME 444 is designed to help students achieve three of the programmatic educational objectives established for the Energy and Sustainability Policy degree. It fosters energy industry knowledge by ensuring students’ ability to detect and correct misstatements and misconceptions about energy resources, technologies, and uses. It helps students achieve a global perspective through case studies of energy businesses and policy regimes worldwide. And it nurtures analytical skills by challenging students to discover, acquire, read, interpret, and evaluate information beyond what is provided by the instructor.

What I Expect of You

On average, most students spend 8 - 12 hours per week working on course assignments. Your workload may be more or less depending on your study habits and the extent of background knowledge and experience.

The designers of this course have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. The Internet may still be a novel learning environment for you, but in one sense it is no different than a traditional college class: how much and how well you learn is ultimately up to you. You will succeed if you are diligent about keeping up with the class schedule and if you take advantage of opportunities to communicate with me, as well as with your fellow students.

Specific learning objectives for each lesson and project are detailed within each lesson. The class schedule is published under the Calendar tab in Canvas (the course management system used for this course), as well as on the Home page of this class.

Required Course Materials

All materials needed for this course are presented online through this course website and in Canvas. In order to access full materials (specifically, those on Canvas), you need to have an active Penn State Access Account user ID and password (used to access the online course resources). If you have any questions about obtaining or activating your Penn State Access Account, please contact the Outreach Helpdesk.

Assignments and Grading

EME 444 will rely upon a variety of methods to assess and evaluate student learning, including:

  • Weekly Activities  Each lesson is accompanied by an Activity based on lesson content and assigned reading and, in some cases, utilizing models and data from a range of sources. The idea is to promote learning (and retention!) by applying new information in interesting ways. These Activities will be in the form of an Canvas quiz and will include a variety of question types, including short answer essay questions that may require additional independent research. Weekly Activities are to be done individually, representing YOUR own work.
  • Case Study  This is a Nonmarket Analysis Case Study completed as a Team Project. At the beginning of the semester you will be presented with a list of current case study issues (“topics”) and asked to complete an interest survey. Based on the survey results, each student will be assigned to a Team and given a Case Study Issue.

The Case study has three parts:

  • Background & Status (Word document)
  • Stakeholders & Summary Table (Word document)
  • Strategy & Recommendations (Powerpoint presentation)

Detailed guidelines for each section are given in the Lesson content. The Team will receive one grade for each part of the Case Study. These grades will not be posted to the gradebook, but I will provide grades and feedback to each team.

After all parts of the Case Study are complete, each member of the team will complete a team assessment survey of individual contributions by each team member. The team will be given one total Case Study score. Individual scores for the Case Study will be calculated as: Team Score x Team Assessment of Contribution. Depending on your level of contribution to the Case Study, your individual score may be the same as the Team Score, or it may be lower or higher (not to exceed 100 points).

  • Case Study Q&A (Canvas Discussion Forums) Each Case Study will be presented as a Q&A Discussion Forum. The Team that did the Case Study will be the Host of the forum and two other Teams will be assigned to participate as Audience members. Each student will participate in three Case Study Q&As (once as Host, twice as Audience). Participation in all three Discussion Forums is graded on an individual basis.

Due dates for all assignments are posted on the course calendar in Canvas. Assignments are due by midnight Eastern Standard Time.

Grades are assigned by the percentage of possible points earned in each Lesson's activities, as shown below.

Grades by Activity Type
Activity Percent
Course Orientation (Introduction and Survey) 1%
Weekly Activities (12 @ 5%) 60%
Nonmarket Analysis Case Study (Team Grade x Team Assessment of Contribution) 30%
Case Study Q & A (3 @ 3%) 9%
Total 100%

I will use the Canvas gradebook to keep track of your grades. You can view your grades by clicking on the Grades tab in Canvas.

Overall course grades will be determined as follows. Percentages refer to the proportion of all possible points earned.

Letter Grade and Corresponding Percentages
Letter Grade Percentage
A 93–100%
A- 90–92.9%
B+ 87–89.9%
B 83–86.9%
B- 80–82.9%
C+ 77–79.9%
C 70–76.9%
D 60–69.9%
F <60%
X Unsatisfactory (student did not participate)

EME 444 Course Schedule

imagePrintable Schedule

Below you will find a summary of the primary learning activities for this course and the associated time frames. This course is fifteen weeks in length. Some lessons are more than one week. See our Calendar in Canvas and on the Home page of this website for specific lesson time frames and assignment due dates.

EME 444 Course Schedule
Lesson Tasks
Course Orientation
  • Perform tasks outlined in course orientation to become familiar with the course and the course environment.
  • Post a self-introduction to the course Discussion Forum.
  • Complete the Initial Course Survey.
  • Take the Course Information Quiz and pass with a score of 100% in order to gain access to the course content.
  • Review in-depth the current semester's Case Study Issues List.
  • Complete “Case Study Issue Interest Survey” in Canvas.
Module 1: Market and NonMarket Environments
Lesson 1: Nonmarket Analysis
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Receive Team Assignments.
Lesson 2: Public Politics
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Work with Team on Case Study "Background and Status."
Lesson 3: Private Politics
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • In "free" week between lessons 3 & 4, submit "Background and Status" for Team's Case Study.
Lesson 4: Energy Sector Special Topics
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Work with Team on Case Study "Stakeholders and Nonmarket Analysis Summary Framework."
Module 2: Energy Enterprise
Lesson 5: Nuclear
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • In "free" week between lessons 5 & 6, submit "Stakeholders and Nonmarket Analysis Summary Framework" for Team's Case Study.
Lesson 6: Coal
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Work with Team on Case Study "Strategy and Recommendations."
Lesson 7: Natural Gas
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Work with Team on Case Study "Strategy and Recommendations."
Lesson 8: Biomass and Hydro
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Submit "Stakeholders and Nonmarket Analysis Summary Framework" for Team's Case Study.
Lesson 9: Solar and Wind
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Begin Round 1 of Case Study Q&A Discussions.
Module 3: Global Political Economies
Lesson 10: Europe
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Complete Round 1 of Case Study Q&A Discussions.
Lesson 11: China
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Begin Round 2 of Case Study Q&A Discussions.
Lesson 12: India
  • Read Lesson and all assigned material.
  • Complete and submit Weekly Activity.
  • Complete Round 2 of Case Study Q&A Discussions.

Tips for Success in EME 444

  • Subscribe to the "Questions about EME 444?" discussion forum - Go to the Canvas Discussions tab and click "Subscribe" under the "Questions about EME 444?" discussion forum. (No seriously, please go there now and do this!) If you do this, an email will be sent to your Canvas email everytime anyone posts to the forum. This way, you will keep up to date on questions that others have, and answers I provide.  You are encouraged to do the same for the Coffee Shop forum, which is a place set aside to post anything of interest, whether related to the course or not (e.g. project, photos, interesting article, etc.) - this is a good way to get you know your classmates and add some extra interest to the course. Both of these can be found in the Discussions tab in Canvas.
  • Participate—Odd as it seems, in many ways an online environment gives us greater opportunity to get to know one other and exchange ideas, challenges and interesting thoughts. As a working commuting student, I took many courses where I just made it to class after work and then scooted out the door to get home and tend family. Chats with others were hurried and simple. Sure we were “together” (in the same place), but our time was generally spent listening to the professor. Isn’t it interesting that now, without the constraint of having to be in the same place at the same time, we have more of a chance to communicate with one another? Use the course Discussion Forums to get to know one another, work together, learn from one another and even have a laugh. It’s a special opportunity. You’ll learn more, enjoy the course more, and probably earn a better grade.
  • Do the work on time, or better yet, ahead of time —Activities, the Team Project, and Case study Discussion Forums are the learning assessment tools for this course. In this class, it won’t work to wait three weeks and then cram for an exam. There are no exams. The Activities are designed to be thought-provoking and in many cases require some interpretation. The designated Discussion Forums provide a place where you can work together to surface problems and questions and give me the chance to redirect or provide additional information if needed. I strongly advise not waiting until the last minute to start the week’s assignments. Give yourself time to ask, think, and interact with me and your classmates. None of the exercises are timed, so you can start and stop them as you please until they are due. I am more than happy to provide feedback if you have a question after beginning an assignment, but will likely not be available at the last minute.  It is always a good idea to start early!
  • Be responsible and honest—I’m glad you’re taking this course and hope it is a rewarding experience for you with long-lasting benefits. Let’s keep it a good thing. Please review our course policy on Academic Integrity described above. Treat yourself, your classmates, and the instructor with honesty and respect at all times. I'll do the same.

Course Policies