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Tor Håkon Inderberg Obtains Ph.D. on Climate Change Adaptation in Norwegian and Swedish Power Companies

Tor Håkon Inderberg(14.12.2012) FNI Senior Research Fellow Tor Håkon Inderberg has today successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation on Swedish and Norwegian energy companies' adaptation to climate change.

The power industry is one of the arenas where climate change is an undeniable fact. The sector is feeling climate change with increased wind, heavy rainfalls and storms. But according to Dr. Inderberg, the Norwegian power industry is not doing enough to meet the challenges posed by climate change. Rather than making robust investments to counter the increasingly difficult weather conditions, the power industry lets short-term economic gain decide its investments.

Look to Sweden

Inderberg identifies a paradigm shift away from the Culture of Engineering to the Culture of Economics. This shift happened with the Market Reform in 1991 with a simultaneous shift both in culture and structure in the power industry. When comparing Norway to Sweden, Inderberg finds that the shift in Norway was more extreme, both before and after 1991. Inderberg looks at both structural and cultural differences between Sweden and Norway to explain the reasons why that is the case.

- In Sweden the process has been less dramatic, with more but smaller shifts than in Norway. Today, Sweden is markedly less dominated by a one-sided focus on economic profit as compared to Norway, Inderberg says.

An example is the prevalence of subterranean cables, which is much more common in Sweden than in Norway. It is expensive, but more secure and less vulnerable to extreme weather. The difference cannot be explained solely by geological differences.

- In Norway decisions are being justified with the argument that "it's profitable", according to Inderberg.

With this doctorate, his aim is to contribute to increased reflection among the regulatory governing bodies and companies.

- My hope is that they will think more holistically when making investment decisions, not only look at what is economically viable in a few years perspective, Inderberg ends.



Dr. Tor Håkon Inderberg is a Senior Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, to which he has been affiliated since 2006. His Ph.D. dissertation, Formal Structure and Culture: Organizational Influence on Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Quasi-public Network Sectors, was submitted to the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo. His doctorate is part of the research project Responding to Climate Change: The Potentials of and Limits to Adaptation in Norway (PLAN), supported by the Norwegian Research Council and coordinated by the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at University of Oslo.



Further information:
   About the dissertation
   About Dr. Inderberg
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 The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental, energy, and resource management politics.
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