This program specification has been produced to conform to the Rwandan National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education Institutions. The objective of the program is to prepare students well for leading careers in research and development both in industry and academia.
As the energy sector in most developing countries undergo rapid reforms and restructuring, it is important that a critical mass of professionals are trained to address critical and emerging issues in the energy sector. Rapid development in the fields of privatization and regulation has led to an increasing need for specialists in energy economics. These activities require a high level of in-depth training, beyond the skills provided in a general engineering and economics degrees and beyond the knowledge that can be acquired through on the job training. The existence of staff with knowledge embedded in energy economics at a PhD level, is therefore crucial in order to achieve the overall energy sector objectives, and enhance the credibility of the decisions taken in the eyes of all stakeholders.
It is in this regard that this an PhD programme in Energy Economics for Africa, to be based in Rwanda and hosted by the College of Science and Technology (ACE-ESD), at University of Rwanda, is being proposed. In selecting Rwanda to host this all-important program in Africa, the Program Coordinators took a lot of factors into consideration particularly the security and safety of visitors (i.e. the visiting lecturers, guest speakers and students).
Aims and Objectives of PhD Programme in Energy Economics
The aim of the programme is to provide students with in-depth understanding of a blend of economics, finance, policy and basic engineering principles and their application, to the resolution of problems in the energy sector. The PhD programme will specifically provide specialised training in the concepts and skills involved in energy economics. The programme is expected to make a significant contribution towards transforming the energy sector in Africa. It will train future leaders and strategic thinkers for the sector, and create a cutting edge research and analysis of practical issues confronting the continent’s energy sector.
Additionally, by establishing the PhD programme in an African University which covers the entire range of research related to energy economics, this is going to reduce the tuition fees to be paid by African students who would have wanted to pursue a similar programme in Europe or the USA, but could not do so due to the prohibitive tuition fees. These students now have the opportunity to do so in Africa at a reduced cost of almost 30%, compared with the tuition fees in Europe and the USA.
The research focus of the students could be related to one of these sub-fields but not limited to Economic Evaluation of Renewable Energy Technologies, Inter-State Energy Trade Policy, Utilities Management, Energy environment, Energy benchmarking, Energy pricing, economic assessment of off-grid, mini-grid and grid connected power generation systems, technical and economic assessment of power transmission and generation systems, technical and economic assessment of solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, biomass, waste-to-power, Biogas, Micro and pico-hydroelectric power systems, as well as mini and large hydroelectric power systems, applied microeconomic models to assist in policy, regulatory and long-term investment decision-making.
Educational AimsPhD degrees by Research are different from taught degrees because the programme is an independent research project, rather than a programme of assessed coursework. The programme is aimed at candidates who want to qualify for research and scientific work at a high international level. The programme enables the graduates to pursue a research career in academia as well as in industry linked to the application related to electrical power systems.The programme has the following
PhD degrees by Research are different from taught degrees because the programme is an independent research project, rather than a programme of assessed coursework. The programme is aimed at candidates who want to qualify for research and scientific work at a high international level. The programme enables the graduates to pursue a research career in academia as well as in industry linked to the application related to electrical power systems.
The programme has the following educational aims:
Making an original contribution: The essential requirement of a PhD is the creation of new knowledge. The research work has to inevitably build on the work and ideas of others, but as a research student they are expected to make an original contribution (novelty though it can be an applied research) to knowledge related to electrical power systems discipline by choosing a problem of development priority and find a solution to it by means of developing new ideas through the creation of new knowledge.
Leading a research: The students will lead the research project, but they will also have support from a Supervisory Team (ST) who are there to provide guidance and read and comment on draft work - but the ultimate responsibility for planning and managing the research will rest with the research students.
In general all research students will be able to,
Identify new problems arising from recent developments in and related to the electrical power systems domain the ability to assess the likely impact of such developments on society.
Conduct ethically and scientifically sound research in electrical power systems, within the bounds of the law and given due consideration of ethical and moral constraints.
Successfully conduct and manage research undertakings, which may include aspects not only from electrical power systems domain but also from other domains within the discipline of energy materials science.
Capability to apply current abstract research and methods within the chosen research domain to specific problems in creative and innovative ways.
Critically apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address fundamental questions in their primary area of study. (Research, Critical Thinking, Content Knowledge).
Ability to organize and participate in research and development through established national and regional research frameworks.
PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES
Graduates from this PhD programme by research will be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the research students should possess skills to
1. Critically examine the background literature relevant to the energy economics field;
2. Develop skills in making and testing hypotheses, in developing new theories, and inPlanning and simulation energy economics solutions;
3. Carry out technical and economic assessment of off-grid, mini-grid and grid connected power generation systems (i.e. conventional and non-conventional power generation technologies);
4. Carry out technical and economic assessment of power transmission and generation systems;
5. Develop analytical skills required to apply results of economic analysis in the energy sector, to assist in both policy and regulatory decision-making;
6. Understand the basic tools for financial analysis, including basic accounting principles, as well as principles of financial management;
7. Understand the risks associated with the energy sector and be able to apply the risk management tools available to mitigate them;
8. Understand the theoretical and practical perspectives of individual and industrial demand for energy, energy supply, and energy markets and carry out energy modelling to determine energy supply and demand.
Cognitive/ Intellectual Skills/ Application of Knowledge
At the end of the PhD programme students should be able to:
1. Review research work within energy economics systems domain;
2. Apply the knowledge to carry out technical and economic assessment of solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, biomass, waste-to-power, Biogas, Micro and pico-hydroelectric power systems, as well as mini and large hydroelectric power systems;
3. Use applied microeconomic models to assist in policy, regulatory and long-term investment decision-making;
4. Apply knowledge gained to solve the practical issues in the energy sector related to financing of joint ventures, project finance, infrastructure finance, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and privatization;
5. Manage the risks inherent in business transactions in the energy sector
6. Apply knowledge in developing renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change policies for controlling emission;
7. Acquire sufficient knowledge and techniques to be able to analyse the relationship between macroeconomic factors and energy sector issues.
Communication/ICT/Numeracy/Analytic Techniques/Practical Skills
At the end of the PhD programme students should be able to:
1. Develop practical research skills and learn new state of the art techniques used in
Energy economics research;
2. Carry out research work of high international standards that advances the forefront
of knowledge and application related to energy economics;
3. Identify and assess the need for innovation, and initiate and contribute to innovative
Energy economics projects that can be applied to the society;
4. Critically analyze complex electrical power systems and give a specific problem
5. Use software development environment to simulate energy economics systems
6. Use the analytical techniques and steps involved in carrying out technical evaluation and
economic assessment of energy systems;
7. Effectively communicate the results of the analysis to enable policy makers and power system planners;
8. Use empirical techniques to explain micro-economic concepts, and how these are used in the energy sector to solve practical problems;
9. Carry out and publish results of financial analysis of energy sector projects and communicate the results to stakeholders;
10. Manage the major risks associated with energy trading and in other energy sectors;
11. Develop Renewable energy and energy efficiency policies.
General transferable skills
At the end of the programme students should be able to:
1. Disseminate and publish research results through recognized channels, including
scientific workshops, conferences, and journals within energy economics field;
2. Participate in research discussions and research collaboration internationally on scientific topics
within energy economics field of specialization;
3. Efficiently disseminate scientific research findings within the community and
outside, to the research sphere for inter-disciplinary cooperation for increased
4. Communicate scientific research outputs among the relevant stakeholders and
Energy economics research community;
5. Contribute to the development of scientific knowledge, scientific methods, and energy
economics based methods and their application in society;
6. Explain the key analytic steps used in technical and economic evaluation of power system projects;
7. Use the application of the analytical methods to large new projects, smaller rehabilitation/retrofitting projects, and use knowledge to assist in policy analysis;
8. Undertake independent research/problem solving and present the results at international energy conferences, and also publish papers in international journals;
9. Have the skills in identifying the links between theory, policy, and practice;
10. Provide support on project evaluation as well as policy and regulatory advisory services on public-private partnerships (PPPs);
11. Model energy demand for different end-users including the industrial sector for policy and regulatory decision making;
12. Work with macroeconomic models to produce results which can help to solve practical policy and regulatory problems in the energy sector.