Energy: Supply Chain, Economics and Geopolitics (IF 401)

2022 Fall
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Interfaculty Course(IF)
Murat Kaya,
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Formal lecture,Seminar,On-line task/distance
Communicative,Discussion based learning
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We address the production and the consumption of energy, its role in the global economy and the markets, its effect global politics and international relations and the influences reflected onto the consumers. The significance of energy in our daily lives is studied along with an insight into the consumption processes and mechanisms while understanding why and how energy is needed. Production of energy is studied with a technological and physical perspective in order to depict how alternative sources of energy are transformed into usable forms of energy. Principles and mechanisms of energy markets are investigated by positioning energy production as a core economic activity. We address how energy production and consumption drives the energy supply chain and decision making processes of parties in the supply chain. The role of energy on global, regional and local policies and their impact on the environment is investigated with an up-to-date perspective.


This introductory course on energy is composed of two parts. The first part (taught by Dr. Kaya) considers the supply and distribution of energy. The second part (taught by Dr. Evin) focuses on energy geopolitics. The course aims to provide a big-picture view of energy supply chains to help students understand the interdependencies between technology, business, economics, environment and international politics regarding energy-related issues.

Note that scientific and technological aspects of energy, which are covered in the FENS elective courses ENS 207 and ENS 315, are not at the core of this course.


  • Categorize primary energy sources along with their worldwide distribution, supply-demand relations and associated production technologies.
  • Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages (in terms of investment requirements, environmental impact and political risks) of using traditional fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal), renewable energy sources (hydro, solar, wind, biomass) and nuclear energy.
  • Explain the dynamics of energy supply chains and energy markets with particular focus on electricity as the most usable form of energy.
  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge of how energy relates to social, political, and economic aspects of contemporary life on a national, regional or global basis.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with sources and databases to obtain reliable information on energy reserves, production, transmission, and distribution.
  • Analyze how energy security and the geopolitics of energy affect national and EU policies as well as international relations.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 4

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 3

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 2

1. Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems. 3

2. Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 3

3. Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively. 2

4. Have the ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose. 1

5. Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 1

6. Possess knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 3

7. Possess knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; knowledge of behavior according to ethical principles, understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 5

8. Have the ability to write effective reports and comprehend written reports, prepare design and production reports, make effective presentations, and give and receive clear and intelligible instructions.

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 3

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 5

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 4

1. Use mathematics (including derivative and integral calculations, probability and statistics, differential equations, linear algebra, complex variables and discrete mathematics), basic sciences, computer and programming, and electronics engineering knowledge to (a) Design and analyze complex electronic circuits, instruments, software and electronics systems with hardware/software or (b) Design and analyze communication networks and systems, signal processing algorithms or software 1

1. Applying fundamental and advanced knowledge of natural sciences as well as engineering principles to develop and design new materials and establish the relation between internal structure and physical properties using experimental, computational and theoretical tools. 3

2. Merging the existing knowledge on physical properties, design limits and fabrication methods in materials selection for a particular application or to resolve material performance related problems. 1

3. Predicting and understanding the behavior of a material under use in a specific environment knowing the internal structure or vice versa. 1

1. Familiarity with concepts in statistics and optimization, knowledge in basic differential and integral calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, complex variables, multi-variable calculus, as well as physics and computer science, and ability to use this knowledge in modeling, design and analysis of complex dynamical systems containing hardware and software components. 2

2. Ability to work in design, implementation and integration of engineering applications, such as electronic, mechanical, electromechanical, control and computer systems that contain software and hardware components, including sensors, actuators and controllers. 1

1. Formulate and analyze problems in complex manufacturing and service systems by comprehending and applying the basic tools of industrial engineering such as modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics. 1

2. Design and develop appropriate analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy. 3

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools. 1

1. Have an understanding of economics and main functional areas of management

2. Have a basic all-around knowledge in humanities, science, mathematics, and literature

3. Have a basic knowledge of law and ethics, awareness of social and ethical responsibilities

4. Work effectively in teams and environments characterized by people of diverse educational, social and cultural backgrounds

5. Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communications in English

6. Pursue open minded inquiry and appreciate the importance of research as an input into management practice; thus, a.know how to access, interpret and analyze data and information by using current technologies b.use the results from analyses to make informed decisions

7. Use office softwares for written communication, presentation, and data analysis

8. Demonstrate awareness that business settings present different opportunities and challenges for managers due to environmental/contextual differences that arise in economic, political, cultural, legal-regulatory domains

1. Analyze global affairs from international relations and economics perspectives. 5

2. Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of the international affairs. 4

3. Compete for increasing opportunities in careers within the newly emerging global institutions. 4

4. Evaluate the international political events and present their views and positions on international affairs with advanced oral and written skills. 4

1. To analyze national and global events from various social science perspectives.

2. To demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge on political science and international relations and to state views and positions with advanced oral and written skills.

3. To compete for increasing career opportunities in national and global institutions.

4. To (be able to) understand and follow the changes in political behaviours, opinions and structures.

5. To gain the ability to make logical inferences on social and political issues based on comparative and historical knowledge.

1. Understand and follow changes in patterns of political behavior, ideas and structures. 4

2. Develop the ability to make logical inferences about social and political issues on the basis of comparative and historical knowledge. 5


  Percentage (%)
Final 30
Midterm 30
Quiz 6
Assignment 16
Participation 12
Other 6


Optional Readings

There is no main textbook for the course. Instead, we will use various reading material including book chapters, white papers and reports. Below, we list a number of sample reading material and resources. Additional readings will be posted at SUCourse from time to time.
? (Entry level): US Energy Information Administration (EIA) ? Energy Explained webpage.
? (Entry level): TOTAL Planete Energies
? IEA World Energy Outlook Reports
? International Energy Agency (for a wide variety of free reports)
? International Energy Agency ETP Clean Energy Technology Guide
? BP Statistical Review of World Energy Reports
? BP Energy Outlook
? The World Nuclear Industry Status Reports
? Renewables Global Status Reports
? International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
? World Energy Council publications
? The Economist Journal: Articles and Special Reports on Energy
? McKinsey consulting:
? Deloitte consulting:
? The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
? Agora Energiewende
? Wood Mackenzie
? IICEC (Sabanci University Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate)
? Shura Energy Transition Center
? The Quest (Book): Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. D. Yergin. 2012. (highly recommended. Turkish version title: Enerjinin Geleceği, 2 cilt)
? The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power: D. Yergin. 1990. Turkish version title: Petrol. Iş Bankası Yayınları.
? The Boom (Book): How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Russell Gold. 2015.
? Oil 101 (Book). Morgen Downey. 2009.
? Newsletter: ?The Energy Mix? by IEA. To subscribe:
? The Global Politics of Energy. Campbell and Price
? Ahmet O. Evin, Energy and Turkey?s Neighborhood: Post Soviet Transformations and Transatlantic Interests
? Ahmet O. Evin, Turkey?s Energy Policy and the EU?s Energy Demand
? Jamestown Foundation, Eurasia Daily Monitor

Energy-related podcasts offer a fun way to learn. The podcasts that I follow are:
? The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder (full episodes require payment)
? Redefining Energy
? The Energy Gang
? Columbia Energy Exchange
? The Interchange
? Energy Policy Now
? DNV GL Talks Energy
? Energy 360
? The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
For a long list: