Philip nailingPhilip Kofi Adom is the first one to defend his thesis this year, a thesis he wrote in record time, 1.5 years. Philip’s research bridges energy and environmental economics to the development economics. Central to his research is to promote a secured energy system while balancing environmental quality and economic development. He is defending his thesis on the 18th of March.

Promoting and achieving energy efficiency has been identified as one of the least costly way to avert the adverse effects of climate change. However, the task of promoting and achieving energy efficiency has not been easy especially in developing countries. A host of factors ranging from economic to social and political have been identified as the cause but the relative importance of these has not been empirically investigated. In this thesis, Philip investigates energy demand management in five selected Africa countries; Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Ghana. He had a particular focus on economic and political factors.

The result shows that removing government fuel subsidies are pro-energy efficient but for this not to cause any social unrest governments have to be credible in terms of what they use the proceeds from the policy for. Further, the result shows that individuals naturally would love to conserve energy but they are constrained by the kind of economic state they find themselves. The result shows that during a recession period individuals are reluctant to invest in energy efficiency. The level of foreign direct inflows and trade openness are critical determinants of energy productivity in economies. However, the result shows that to what extent foreign direct inflows can stimulate energy efficiency is crucially dependent on the industry characteristics and technology absorptive capacity of the host country. It is also established in this study that the goals of economic development and environmental quality are not necessarily mutually exclusive during early stages of development. This since it depends on the extent of technological investment made in the industrial sector. The result further shows that in an environment, where corruption abounds; markets are not well developed; regulatory framework is inefficient, and institutions and infrastructure are poor, countries are likely to be caught in an energy inefficient trap which will be difficult to escape. Therefore, growth, pricing and related trade policies are useful but insufficient measures to catapult an economy from the energy inefficient trap. The result suggests that these measures should be combined with a structural reform aimed at institutions and regulatory framework. Finally, the results show that diesel and gasoline fuels differ in many respects; a situation that suggests that a tax regime that discriminates between these two fuels will be more appropriate in terms of promoting transport energy efficiency and combating the adverse effects of climate change.

Philip applied different econometric techniques-Fully modified LOS, Canonical co-integration, Structural co-integration VAR, Autoregressive distributed lag method and Markov-switching dynamic method.

Philip is planning on staying within academia and he describes his time at CERE as a “fulfilling one”. He feels a lot more independent and has deepened his knowledge within both analytical and quantitative research as well as his understanding of government policies and implications. Philips impression of Umeå is one of a beautiful and quite place with hospitable people. To others planning on pursuing a PhD he says “one has to develop a tough skin, believe in him/herself and work hard.”

Read the thesis: Energy demand Management in Selected African Countries.

Read more about our PhD:s upcoming dissertations:
What is the value of marine environmental improvements? – Katarina Östberg