Please note: The MOOC ran from Feb 1st to Mar 27th, 2016. The materials will stay online – certificates cannot be earned anymore, the deadlines passed. If you have futher questions please contact us at PoweringAg-MOOC@giz.de.

This MOOC was offered by the global initiative “Powering Agriculture – An Energy Grand Challenge for Development” (PAEGC) in cooperation with TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. It dealt with the key quesitons of how we can produce more food while using less energy, how agriculture can become energy-smart, and how energy technologies can provide efficient and sustainable power to agricultural processes.

When we started planning the PoweringAg MOOC “Sustainable Energy for Food” many months ago we hoped to reach like-minded people around the world interested in the Energy-Agriculture Nexus, but you all have far surpassed what we – the PoweringAg MOOC Team – had initially hoped for. We are proud to have been part of this experience. Congratulations to ALL participants! See some interesting Information about our MOOC participants:

Facts & Figurs about the MOOC Participants

You created a learning community of 1,677 participants

  • from all parts of the world: 39% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 25% from Europe, 15% from Asia, 9% from Latin America and the Carribean, 8% from North America, and 2% from the MENA region!
  • with a variety of backgrounds: from international organizations (23%), NGOs (23%), research (16%), private sector (13%), governments (4%) and others (8%)!
  • with previous expertise in agriculture and food industries, clean energies and/or the Nexus.
  • with about two thirds male and one third female participants.
  • with mostly no previous MOOC experience (78%).

You have contributed thousands of comments, forum entries and lively discussions and worked on co-creating clean energy solutions for agriculture. You worked in teams and succeeded in submitting almost 100 group assignments of very high quality. More than 230 of you finished all requirements and earned the MOOC Badge.


What now? Let’s use the ENERGY and keep on working! We are still eager to learn about your impressions, criticism and recommendations. For any query or comment please contact us here.

From what we have seen on the platform and also from what you’ve stated in the surveys so far, many of you are interested in further contributing to a community on the Energy-Agriculture Nexus – and so are we! Below are some possibilities to do so:

The MOOC Platform stays online

The MOOC platform: The MOOC platform stays online! Including all materials and links. Additionally, you can continue using the forums.

Energypedia 'Powering Agriculture Portal'

Energypedia “Powering Agriculture Portal”: Already presented in the last Newsletter, the Portal provides the chance to expand your knowledge about the Energy-Agriculture Nexus, keep up the fruitful knowledge exchange, benefit from or contribute to our Energypedia Community. There, you will find a variety of resources and you will not only meet your fellow MOOC participants but also further experts from all over the world.

PoweringAg Newsletter

Check out the PoweringAg Newsletter! Powering Ag – co-organizer of the MOOC – regularly informs about updates from the Program “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development”, including news and information on clean energy innovations for agriculture, case studies, trainings, funding opportunities, publications or events. With only a few clicks you can register here.

Materials for Entrepreneurs

Materials for Entrepreneurs: Are you thinking of starting your own business related to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus? Or you want to install a clean energy solution to your operating Business? Are you looking for potential funding institutions? Or do you still look for an adequate clean energy solution for your particular context? Please check out the additional material of Week 8, including a checklist for clean energy solutions for agriculture as well as an overview of some relevant funding institutions. Also check out this Agricultural Innovation Challenge.

So that’s it for now. We find it hard to say goodbye… but as we are sure to meet a lot of you again, in one occasion or another, our positive feelings prevail!

All the best,
Your PoweringAg MOOC Team

Some Quick Facts

About the Course

The MOOC was a web-based intensive course with flexible participation, online-video as well as offline reading material, and an online forum. It was offered on the Global Campus 21® platform of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), with all learning materials and documents available for offline work. The aim was to build a vibrant learning community focused on co-creating solutions.

While the course officially ended, the materials will stay accessible on this platform.

The MOOC material gives an introduction to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus and introduces approaches for sustainably providing energy throughout all stages of agricultural value chains – focusing on a developing and emerging country context.

The central concerns are: How can we support the use of clean energy in developing countries and emerging economies within the agriculture and food sector? How can we contribute to reducing the large quantities of agricultural products going to waste every day, and thereby contributing to food security, both globally and locally?

It Looks at different clean energy technologies such as biogas- and solar-powered Technologies, and examines how those can promote access to clean energy. Potential applications of these technologies in agricultural value chains will be presented, also with the help of case studies from all over the globe.

You will learn that – while there is general consent on the importance of ‘clean energy’ and food security – approaches to tackle existing challenges vary enormously. Economic and political factors play a big role within the Energy-Agriculture Nexus, and may either push or restrain progress towards a more sustainable energy use.

Duration and Workload

Please note: The MOOC has officially finished March 27th, 2016. The materials will stay online – certificates cannot be earned anymore, the deadlines passed.

The total course duration was 8 weeks (February 1st to March 27th 2016,) with a minimum of 3-4 hours a week for reading course materials and collaborative online work.


Please note: The MOOC has officially finished March 27th, 2016. The materials will stay online – certificates cannot be earned anymore, the deadlines passed.

There are no participant prerequisites beyond interest in the topic. Participants can be located anywhere, work in any sector, and have any background.


Please note: The MOOC has officially finished March 27th, 2016. The materials will stay online – certificates cannot be earned anymore, the deadlines passed.

All participants who have successfully completed the course requirements were awarded with a personalized certificate upon the end of the course, issued by the PAEGC initiative and TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences.

The Global Initiative PAEGC and its Partners

Powering Agriculture – An Energy Grand Challenge (PAEGC) PAEGC seeks to identify and support new and sustainable approaches to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for increasing agriculture productivity and/or value in developing countries. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Duke Energy, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have combined resources to fund Powering Agriculture. GIZ supports the initiative on behalf of BMZ.  www.poweringag.org

TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences

TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences sees itself as University of Technology, Arts, Sciences. With its disciplinary and cultural diversity and openness, TH Köln’s activities are aimed on cultural and technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance; TH Köln contributes substantially to resolving social challenges. https://www.th-koeln.de/en/

Links and Videos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PoweringAgriculture

Twitter: https://twitter.com/poweringag?lang=de @PoweringAg #PoweringAgMOOC

Leave a Comment