GIZ | TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences | Sustainable Energy for Food MOOC

“It is our goal to provide you with both, the theoretical background, as well as practical training. The MOOC will capacitate you to develop tailored sustainable solutions for specific agricultural projects independently.”

Prof. Dr. Ramchandra Bhandari, TH Köln, Course Instructor

Course at a Glance

  • Feb. 1 – Mar. 27, 2016
  • Free and open for everybody
  • 8 weeks of study
  • 3-4 hours work load
  • In English
  • Certificates available for active participation
  • Benefit from the experience of renowned scientists and experts in the field of energy and agriculture

  • Exchange ideas and know-how with an international network of like-minded, fellow participants

Who can participate?

Everyone worldwide interested in the energy-agriculture nexus. Participation is free of charge.

Duration and Workload

Feb. 1 – Mar. 27, 2016 (8 weeks), with a minimum of 3–4 hours a week for reading course materials and collaborative online work.


Participants will be awarded a personalized certificate issued by the PAEGC initiative and TH Köln for continuous contribution the course. The certificate policies will follow soon.


Laura Jakobeit,
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

In early 2016, “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development” (PAEGC) launched a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in cooperation with TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. The 8-week course introduced challenges and solutions for sustainable energy use in the agriculture and food industry. The free course materials and videos are available to all.


Around one third of the energy used worldwide goes into the production and processing of food from field to table. Given the current energy system mix, the agrifood industry sector is however heavily dependent on fossil fuel inputs for production, transport, processing and distribution, and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. With a continuously growing world population the need for food and for energy to produce it is increasing. At the same time millions of farmers and processors in developing countries and emerging economies lack access to clean energy technologies for irrigation, drying, cooling, storage and other processes.

How can these needs be met sustainably?

We have to produce more food with less energy, make energy use more efficient, and introduce and upscale more clean energy technologies.

About the Course

This MOOC introduced participants to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus and approaches for sustainably providing energy throughout all stages of agricultural value chains. Challenges as well as solutions are analyzed, concrete technologies are examined focusing on their utility to promote access to clean energy. Participants will further be familiarized with relevant external influences such as market conditions, politics, and financing schemes of “powering agricultural” projects. Learning materials, developed by well-known experts, are available as texts as well as videos and are accompanied by assignments that will require the application of the newly learned skills.