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Renewable Energy: Online Library Support

Subject Guide - help and guidance on finding resources in your subject area

Renewable Energy LibGuide 

Use this guide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services. You may also find it useful to consult the Engineering and Environmental Studies LibGuides

New to the University?  Explore the Getting Started with the Library guide to learn all about the Library basics. 

Expand your searching

There are a wide range of online resources that will help you trace books, journal articles and much more, to support your  study and research. 

Key resources are highlighted in the adjacent tabs.

Engineering Know How Databases

Knovel is a web-based application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools to drive innovation and deliver answers engineers can trust.

It provides general reference and best practice insights, process and design applications, material and substance properties data, and equations for engineering disciplines.

There is searchable online access to hundreds of handbooks, data books, dictionaries, encyclopedias and technical reference works.

For training and support on Knovel, visit the Knovel Support Center. A range of video tutorials and webinars are available to help you make the most use of the service.

ESDU (Engineering Sciences Data Unit) provides validated design methods, data and software tools covering a wide range of engineering disciplines, as an aid to help solve complex engineering problems.

It enables engineers to develop real world solutions to engineering challenges and problems, using industry standard design, methods and standards.

Engineering Literature Databases

Bibliographic databases index the global literature and provide references to journal articles, books, conference proceedings, etc. that match your search criteria. They help you to find information about previous publications in your research field.  

The following databases will help you discover material related to renewable energy.  

Their content is multidisciplinary and covers all subject areas, so can be useful for investigating subjects that span other science disciplines and related areas.

First time access:

  1. Access membership number (needed to create an account)
  2. Create an account following these instructions
  3. Access e-cigre documents

Use the Databases A-Z List to access all the resources available to you.

You can browse by subject e.g. Renewable Energy and/or other related subject areas such as Environmental Studies and Engineering.  You can also browse by type (e.g.maps, news, images etc.) or search to find your required resource.


You can use the following services to explore research materials available elsewhere

  • COPAC - exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of c.90 major UK and Irish libraries.

  • WorldCAT - search the collections of libraries in your community and tens of thousands more around the world.  

  • SUNCAT - is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK research community, a free tool to help researchers and librarians locate serials held in the UK.

  • The European Library - access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.

  • The Library of Congress -  catalog records for books, serials, manuscripts, maps, music, recordings, images, and electronic resources in the Library of Congress collections in the USA.

  • LibWeb - Access to a listing of online library catalogues worldwide

  • CORE - gives an incredibly fast search of the full-text of 80M open access research resources

I am looking for ...

You are likely to use a wide range of different types of information sources for your study and research. 

As well as academic sources such as books and journals, you may wish to consult news sources, official publications, mapping data and statistics etc. 

Use the online support highlighted here to guide your searching.  

  • News sources can be invaluable research resources. 
  • They provide contemporaneous accounts of events as they emerge and unfold, affording a snapshot of developments at a point in time.
  • You can engage in historical research by tracing commentary on issues over time, to identify and track changing political, economic and social trends. 
  • The availability of news resources online allows for very effective and comprehensive searching, in a way that was impossible with print or microfilm / microfiche editions of the newspapers 

Find out more on the News LibGuide 

A wealth of mapping data is available to you at the University.  Use the Maps section of the A-Z Database List to access the various databases.

The Maps LibGuide provides guidance on finding and using online mapping services.

A key provider of maps and geospatial dat for UK academia is the DigiMap service and it has extensive online support and training materials available to help you make the most of the services.

A standard is a published specification that establishes a common language and an agreed, repeatable way of doing something. It contains a technical specification or other precise criteria and is designed to be used consistently, as a rule, a guideline, or a definition.

Standards are applied to many materials, products, methods and services. They are designed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations. However, laws and regulations may refer to certain standards, making compliance with them compulsory.

Find out more in the Standards LibGuide

The University has a subscription to British Standards Online (BSOL) It is a bibliographic, citation and full-text database of more than 90,000 standards in the subject areas of Health and Life Sciences and Science, Engineering and Technology, including business, commerce and finance, construction, electrical and electronic engineering, healthcare and medical devices, manufacturing, and mining and minerals.  

  • Statistics is the science of collecting, analysing and presenting numerical data.

  • Statistical data can be found on a huge variety of subjects, for example the economy, employment, the environment, government, health, international trade, manufacturing, and population.

  • They can be a vital source of information for your studies.

Find out more on the Statistics LibGuide.

A patent is a legal contract and intellectual property (IP) right which protects a new invention, by giving the owner the right for a limited period of time to prevent others from exploiting the invention without permission. 

It gives a detailed and technical description of the invention, and as such contains much information that may never be published in any other format. A patent is generally applied for at the earliest possible stage of an invention; it thus often provides the newest information available in a field, before journal articles are published or new products reach the market. 

Find out more about searching for patent information in our Patents LibGuide

  • Official publications are documents and other resources produced by Parliament and Government during the course of parliamentary and government business.
  • Content ranges from statements of law and policy to government reports and statistics.  
  • These publications can be a very valuable primary research source as they address all aspects of governmental work such as science, education, law, agriculture, transport, health etc.

Find out more in the Official Publications LibGuide.

  • TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).
  •  You can explore TED Talks related to the topics of Energy, Engineering or Environment and 
  • The End of Oil? playlist is a good starting point for understanding the sort of talks you'll find on TED.
  • You'll find talks on all sorts of other topics too. You can view all  Ted Topics here.
  • The latest and most popular talks are available from the TED homepage
  • TED talks can be a great way to keep up to date with live issues in your area of research/study
  • Below is a talk from Donald Sadoway about Renewable Energy


Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 


As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:

Find out more about the skills support available to help you develop a range of study skills including essay writing, referencing, critical reading and getting the most out of lectures.

Study Skills Support

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research. 

It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

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