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Renewable Energy, Technology & Resource Economics (Summer 2)

Explore natural energy sources and technology’s impact on the environment and economy in Iceland. Gain hands-on experience developing a renewable energy project.

At a Glance




Relevant previous coursework

Courses taught in


Program Countries


Program Base

Reykjavik, Akureyri

Program Tracks

Summer 1 (2024)

Jun 2 – Jul 15


Summer 2 (2024)

Jun 16 – Jul 29


Critical Global Issue of Study

Climate & Environment


Why study abroad in Iceland?

With untapped reserves of enough geothermal and hydroelectric energy, Iceland is the perfect place to learn about renewable energy sources and sustainability. You’ll meet with multiple stakeholders connected with the renewable energy sector for a multifaceted view of the country’s energy policy and learn about the latest renewable energy technologies. You’ll also be immersed in Icelandic culture and language and discover Iceland’s untamed landscape from Akureyri an energy–progressive city at the base of a fjord.  


  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Thingvellir.
  • Gain comprehensive knowledge of applied renewable energy technologies.
  • Live and study in the capital, Reykjavík, and second largest urban area, Akureyri.
  • Explore the Reykjanes peninsula's diversity of volcanic and geothermal activity.


Previous college-level coursework or background in engineering, economics, environmental science or studies, or related fields, as assessed by SIT.

program map


Energize + Orient

You’ll visit geothermal sites and power plants in the fascinating southwest of Iceland, getting an introduction to the country’s energy production.

Powered by Nature

You’ll explore dynamic and varied landscapes: glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, geothermal fields, lava flows, rugged coastline, and waterfalls. You will experience the power of nature, evident in every aspect of this constantly transforming island. Seeing Iceland’s energy sources will give you an essential understanding of the natural forces involved in energy utilization.


No study trip to Iceland would be complete without an excursion to Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world. It’s also one of the cleanest, greenest, and safest cities in the world. Settled in 874 AD, Reykjavik means “smoky bay” due to the steam rising from hot springs. During your visit, you may visit the national museum, tracing Iceland’s Viking history and nearby famed geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, near the village of Grindavik.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to: 

  • Explain the mechanics of a variety of renewable energy technologies including geothermal, hydropower, wind, solar, hydrogen, biofuels, and marine energy.  
  • Differentiate among types and scales of energy utilization technologies such as heat pumps, electric vehicles, and grid-enabled appliances. 
  • Relate energy production and consumption to resource use and management. 
  • Compare different energy systems and account for the social, economic, and ecological costs and benefits of different renewable energies. 
  • Conduct an original field research project. 
  • Communicate research findings via a chalk-talk, final paper, and final presentation.

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.


Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • The geology behind Iceland’s energy resources and sustainable use
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  • Hydroelectric and geothermal power; wind, solar, tidal and biomass energy; renewable fuels
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  • Resource economics and policy
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  • Sustainable energy design and implementation within the sociocultural, economic, and environmental contexts

Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics Seminar

Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics Seminar – syllabus
(ENGR3000 / 3 credits)

This course focuses on helping students develop mastery of alternative energy technologies and an understanding of the role these technologies play in Iceland’s social, economic, and political context and how these lessons apply to the larger world. Learning takes place both in the classroom and in the field.

Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics Project

Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics Project – syllabus
(ENGR3060 / 3 credits)

In this course students are introduced to recent research in renewable energy, technology, and resource economics. Students become familiar with the methodologies employed in energy and sustainability studies. Students select and analyze relevant issues in renewable energy in consultation with program faculty. Each student conducts research with a field study component to produce an original academic paper and presents their results to the class. This course gives students the opportunity to engage more deeply with one of the topics covered in the seminar and to develop their academic skills. Support is provided throughout the project from program faculty.

Past student projects:

  • A stakeholder analysis of tidal power potential in the Westfjords
  • A feasibility analysis of rapeseed biodiesel for the Icelandic fishing fleet
  • A proposal for alternative energy systems for the island of Grímsey
  • Paradoxes in Icelandic ecological intelligence and environmental behavior
  • The potential for consumer engagement in smart grid technologies in the Westfjords
  • A wind resource assessment for Ísafjörður
  • A study of hydrogen sulfide emissions from geothermal power plants


Other Accommodations

Guesthouses, dormitories, and hostels. This program does not provide a homestay.

Faculty & Staff

Iceland: Renewable Energy, Technology & Resource Economics (Summer 2)

Cátia Magro, PhD bio link
Cátia Magro, PhD
Academic Director

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

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    A critical step in preparing for your study abroad program is planning how you will maintain your health and wellbeing. Please review the following information carefully and contact [email protected] with any questions or concerns.

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