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Certificate in Renewable Technology

Certificate in Renewable Technology

Level of Study: 

The adoption of sustainable renewable energy sources is growing in Aotearoa. This programme provides an overview of foundation concepts in renewable energy for those who work, or want to work with renewable energy systems. Explore this field as the basis of a new career choice and to support investment in sustainable renewable energy technology for home, marae,
community centre or commercially.

Although it is a technical subject, the programme is delivered in largely descriptive terms, with some simple calculations required of the type you met in secondary school.

The programme will allow students to:

  • Gain skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to working, or further training, in the renewable energy sector.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills to standards recognised by the industry sector as
  • Develop work habits and practice appropriate for further training and employment in the renewable energy sector.
  • Carry out pre-feasibility research to establish the renewable technology options requiring further professional analysis and manage the process to get the technology solution that best meets needs.

View eBooklet

To download a copy of the eBooklet, click here.

* NZQA approved.

Start Date: 
Finish Date: 
Applications Close: 
Intake Details :

The programme is studied in intakes which run for 17 weeks. All nine papers are compulsory and must be completed in the order listed below.


Applications Close



Intake 1 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017
Intake 2 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017
Intake 3 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017
Intake 4 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017 (TBC) 2017


Full time study (17 weeks, one intake)

Full time study is completing all papers (60 credits) in one intake. However, due to the intensive workload of the programme we do not recommend that students enrol in more than 48 credits per intake. Full time acceptance into the programme will be guided by the Programme

Part time study (up to 1 year, two intakes)

Part time study is completing papers (60 credits) in two intakes. The intakes selected should not overlap, for example select intake 1 and 3 or intake 2 and 4. The number of papers selected per intake should depend on work, whanau and other commitments. The following is a guide only:

Part time study load

Full time study load

Intake 1 or 2 RET116
Intake 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 RET116
Intake 3 or 4 RET122


Total Fee for 2017:

There are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen, resident/permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a course related cost for resources per credit of study undertaken and textbook/s if required.

2017 Cost

$7.00 per credit for resources
(e.g. $420 for the 60 credit course – includes GST)

Fees must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice.


N.B. The above fee for resources does not include the administration levy. For more information regarding fees, please see our fees page

Delivery Mode:

Entry is open to applicants who meet the following requirements:

Minimum Age: 
18 years
Minimum Qualification/s: 
  • NCEA Level 1, a minimum of 12 credits at level one in both numeracy and literacy, or School Certificate English and Maths.
  • Complete a test demonstrating the applicant has the required level of numeracy skills to complete scientific calculations.

Will be required to:

  • Attend an interview, or if an applicant lives at some distance from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi campuses, complete a telephone interview;
  • Meet the English Proficiency Outcomes as stated below in accordance with the NZQF
    Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 if ones first language is not English or who come from a country where the language of instruction is not English.
Career Opportunities:
Energy auditing, Promotional/marketing roles, System design
Additional Information: 

Study load

As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours of study within an intake period. For example, 30 credits requires approximately 18 hours of study per week, 60 credits requires approximately 35 hours of study per week. The hours specified may be higher during periods of assessment.

All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake.

All courses require you to have a computer and internet access.

All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located online through the eWānanga Learning Management System.

Students are required to use their Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi webmail only for all
eWānanga communications.

Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive an Important Information booklet that includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online
eWānanga learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.

Kaitiaki or Facilitator Assistance

During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to kaitiaki or facilitators, who
endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only). All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their kaitiaki or facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study. Students who have NOT emailed their kaitiaki or
embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be
withdrawn from the programme.

Required textbook for all papers in the Certificate in Renewable Technology is:

Boyle, G. (2012). Renewable energy: Power for a sustainable future (3rd ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Career Opportunities

At the successful completion of this programme, tauira will have the required competencies to function successfully and effectively at operational levels within the renewable energy sector.

The various employment positions a graduating tauira could be expected to undertake following the completion of this programme could include the following examples:

  • System design
  • Promotional/marketing roles
  • Energy auditing

Further Study

Graduates of this certificate may be interested in further study with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi:

  • Bachelor of Environment Studies
  • Bachelor of Humanities
Course Code: RET114
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Introduction to Renewable Energy Technologies (Level 4) 8 credits

This foundation paper is a general introduction to renewable energy technologies, with an emphasis on commercially available technology and small-scale applications.  It provides:

  • Preliminary technical knowledge of currently available renewable energy technologies
  • Knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of each renewable energy technology, including its environmental impacts
  • Knowledge of the current global outlook for each renewable energy technology
  • An introduction to renewable energy micro generation in New Zealand.

Course Code: RET116
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Energy Auditing (Level 5) 8 credits

This foundation paper provides an introduction to the physical concepts of energy and power, leading to the knowledge and skills required to conduct a household energy audit as an essential first step when considering installing any small scale renewable energy technology.

It also provides a technical introduction to the solar energy resource for application in later papers.

Course Code: RET119
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Stand-alone Renewable Power System (Level 4) 6 credits

This paper provides knowledge of the function, operation, specification and design of Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS) and their component parts, including battery storage of electrical energy.

Course Code: RET122
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Photovoltaic Power Systems (Level 4) 8 credits

This paper provides knowledge of the operation and design of photovoltaic cells and power systems.  It also includes an introduction to electricity and electrical systems.

Course Code: RET125
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Solar Water Heating Systems (Level 4) 6 credits

This paper provides knowledge of the operation and design of an appropriate solar water heating system for a given application.

Course Code: RET126
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Energy Efficient Building Design (Level 4) 6 credits

This paper provides an understanding of the principles used to design energy efficient buildings.  It covers the theory and application of design variables including insulation, ventilation, thermal mass, window positioning and shading.  These are explored in the context of thermal comfort, climate type and site considerations.

Course Code: RET127
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Wind Energy Conversion Systems 1 (Level 4) 6 credits

This paper provides knowledge of the operation and design of Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS), their siting, and the nature of New Zealand’s wind energy resource.

Course Code: RET129
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Micro-hydro Systems (Level 4) 6 credits

This paper provides knowledge of the operation and design of Micro-Hydro Energy Systems (MHS), and their practical application in a case study which includes an economic analysis of a completed project.

Course Code: RET143
Course Type: Core
Course Title: Sustainability (Level 3) 6 credits

This paper presents an initial overview of sustainability concepts, which forms a general framework for the study of later papers. It provides:

  • An understanding of the need for sustainable development in terms of the degradation of the ecosystems on which all life depends
  • A purposeful understanding of the nature of sustainability
  • Knowledge of the changes needed to achieve sustainability, particularly in relation to energy issues.