Essays on energy consumption and oil resource management in oil producing African countries

  • Ishmael Ackah

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    In September 2011, the UN General Secretary declared his vision of making modern energy accessible to all by 2030. Unfortunately, less than 50% of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa have access to modern forms of energy. This implies that Africa requires sustained investment in the energy sector. In order to provide investment guide and policy recommendations, this thesis seeks to investigate the determinants of renewable energy, energy efficiency practices and natural gas demand in oil producing African countries. The choice of these types of fuel is dictated by the fact that, renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas have been considered the solution to the hydra-headed problems of energy security, energy access and climate change in Africa. The thesis contributes to the energy economics literature in four main ways. First, the thesis applies spatial analysis to the issue of ‗oil curse‘ which has often been associated with oil producing African countries since investments in energy will require finance which can be provided by proceeds from oil resources. Second, the effect of natural resource depletion and energy-related carbon emissions on renewable energy consumption is examined. Third, the natural gas consumption behaviour of oil producing African countries is examined. Finally, the Product Generational Dematerialisation (PGD) is applied to the energy efficiency of fossil fuels and electricity consumption in Ghana. The thesis finds among other things that both economic and technical factors affect the demand for natural gas and renewable energy. Further, the results reveal that the consumption of both fossil fuel and renewables have not been efficient. Finally, the thesis confirms the oil curse hypothesis. However, how conducive the investment climate in a particular country has positive bearings on neighbouring countries.

    Whilst the study seeks to recommend for more investment into energy supply and demand, attention should be given to three factors: availability, the environment and finance. Whereas, renewable energy sources, natural gas and efficiency abound in Africa and are environmentally friendly, finance may be a major hindrance to investments. Therefore, the sixth chapter of this thesis, examines how oil resources are managed so that it can help fund investments in energy. The chapters are therefore linked by the need for oil producing African countries to harness the finances to invest in available and clean sources of energy.

    The thesis recommends that oil producing Africa should open their economies for international trade, invest in commercial sources of renewable energy, build strong accountability institutions, channel oil revenues into productive sectors and educate the public on energy efficiency not just electricity efficiency.
    Date of AwardSept 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorRenatas Kizys (Supervisor), Nikos Antonakakis (Supervisor) & Shabbar Jaffry (Supervisor)

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