مصرف انرژی و رشد اقتصادی: شواهد از جامعه اقتصادی کشورهای غرب آفریقا (ECOWAS)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12659||2013||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Economics, Volume 36, March 2013, Pages 637–647
Access to modern energy is believed to be a prerequisite for sustainable development, poverty alleviation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. However, theoretical models and empirical results offer conflicting evidence on the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth that we remain largely unsure of the cause-and-effect nature of this relationship, if indeed a relationship exists at all. This paper tests, in a panel context, the long-run relationship between energy access, and economic growth for fifteen African countries from 1980 to 2008 by using recently developed panel cointegration techniques. We adopt a three-stage approach, consisting of panel unit root, panel cointegration and Granger causality tests to study the dynamic causal relationships between energy consumption, energy prices and growth as well as relationship between electricity consumption, prices and growth. Results show that GDP and energy consumption as well as GDP and electricity move together in the long-run. By estimating these long-run relationships and testing for causality using panel-based error correction models, we found unidirectional long-run and short-run causality. The causality is running from GDP to energy consumption in the short-run, and from energy consumption to GDP in the long-run. There is also evidence of unidirectional causality running from electricity consumption to GDP in the long-run. This study thus provides empirical evidence of long-run and causal relationships between energy consumption and economic growth for our sample of fifteen countries; suggesting that lack or limited access to modern energy services could hamper economic growth and compromise the development prospects of these countries.
While the availability of modern energy is not by itself a panacea for the economic and social problems facing developing countries, it is now widely recognised that the lack of access to affordable and reliable energy services is a fundamental obstacle to human, social, and economic development. Moreover, the energy poverty is a major impediment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),1 since energy services have an important impact on productivity, health, education, potable water and communication services (UNIDO, 2011). The lack of access to modern energy services that are clean, efficient and environmentally sustainable is thus an obstacle to economic growth and sustainable development, poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs. However, if from both theoretical and qualitative points of view, the role of energy in economic development and growth is obvious, the empirical evidence and the quantitative relationship between energy use and economic growth are a matter of debate. A number of empirical studies using various approaches, time periods, and proxy variables have been conducted on the causal relationship between energy consumption and economic growth in different countries but evidences from empirical researches are still mixed and controversial in terms of the direction of the causality and the strength of impact of energy use on economic growth. Even when a relationship is supported by an econometric methodology it is usually weak and has very low explanatory and predictive power. Nevertheless the nature of causality between energy and growth has important policy implications. Thus, it is important to provide empirical evidence on the possible existence of a long-run relationship between energy consumption and economic growth for a given location (country or region) or a given sector. Indeed, the empirical findings of relationships between energy consumption and economic growth have significant implications. They not only provide insights into the importance of energy consumption for economic growth but also provide a basis for examination and discussion of energy and environmental policies. For instance, the existence of a unidirectional causality running from energy consumption to economic growth tends to support the hypothesis that energy plays a crucial role in economic growth. The presence of such a causal relationship implies that economic growth is dependent on energy consumption and no access, or limited access, to energy can restrain economic growth and threaten the well-being of current and future generations. Under these conditions, it is essential to integrate into national and regional development programmes, innovative approaches to improve access to affordable, modern and clean energy, including household access to electricity from renewable energy technologies, for all populations and productive sectors. In contrast, when causality runs from economic growth to energy consumption or if there is no causality in either direction this denotes a less energy-dependent economy and, energy conservation policies may be implemented with little or no adverse effects on economic growth. Therefore, it is of prime importance to identify the direction of causality between energy consumption and economic growth in order to implement the appropriate energy policies, including conservation policies in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to study the causal relationships between energy consumption, electricity consumption and economic development, for a sample of Sub-Saharan African Countries, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), 2 and then, to see how access to modern energy may trigger their economic development and accelerate poverty reduction. More specifically, the inter-temporal causal relationship between growth in energy consumption and growth in GDP is investigated for the fifteen countries of the ECOWAS by using panel unit root tests, panel cointegration and Granger causality tests. Energy prices are included as an additional variable. Furthermore, to analyse the specific effects of modern energy on economic growth, we disaggregate energy consumption and investigate the relationship between electricity, energy prices and growth. The remainder of this paper is laid out as follows. The second section presents the literature review on the relationship between energy consumption and growth for African countries. The third section deals with the empirical model specification and estimation technique. The fourth section discusses the empirical results. The last section suggests some policy implications and offers some concluding remarks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper examines the empirical evidence of the relationship between access to modern energy, economic growth and development. For this purpose, recent developments in unit root tests for panel, panel cointegration and causality techniques have been applied to investigate the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth, as well as the relationship between electricity consumption and economic growth and an additional variable (energy prices) for 15 African countries for the period from 1980 to 2008. As far as the short-run dynamics of data are concerned, our analysis reveals that the economic growth has a positive and statistically significant effect on energy consumption in the short-run in ECOWAS. An increase in real GDP is likely to affect energy demand in several ways: first, at the household level, as per capita income increases, people who are seeking to improve their comfort can spend the extra income earned on additional energy services. Second, economic growth can induce demand for more energy since energy is a major input in the production system. So, an increase in real GDP increases energy consumption in the short-run and this in turn can increase production in real sector. Thus conversely, in the long-run, it is energy consumption which causes the GDP per capita growth in ECOWAS, and the error correction terms are statistically significant. With regard to electricity consumption and GDP per capita, there is no causality in the short run, but in the long-run, an increase in electricity consumption leads to an increase in GDP per capita. The non-correlation between electricity consumption and GDP in the short-term can be attributed to the low access to electricity. But in the long run, improving access to electricity in ECOWAS is important for economic growth. The implication of these findings is that high levels of energy use as well as electricity consumption lead to high levels of economic growth. Changes in energy-use patterns have a significant impact on changes in income in the ECOWAS countries. Energy is thus an important factor for economic development and, energy conservation may harm economic growth in these countries regardless of being transitory or permanent. In fact, the existence of a unidirectional causality from GDP growth to energy consumption in the short run means that theoretically, energy-saving measures may be implemented without compromising the socio-economic development (especially as short-term shocks are absorbed in the long run). But reducing energy and electricity consumption (e.g. electricity rationing) in a region where population have no access or a limited access to energy is not an optimal policy. Moreover, as an evidence of a long-run causality between energy consumption and growth has been found, energy conservation policies may harm the long-term economic performances of these countries. Energy efficiency policies would, however, prevent adverse effects related to inefficient over-consumption of energy. Finally, from a policy-perspective, our results show that ECOWAS countries need, for economic growth, to expand their access to modern and reliable energy services. This requires a substantial capital investment, but to the extent that energy is a prerequisite for economic growth and that the current patterns of energy use are environmentally unsustainable; these investments are unavoidable. At the microeconomic level, improving access to modern energy can be achieved by implementing policy measures aimed at increasing and improving household's access to modern forms of energy. It will consist of offering credible alternatives to the majority of households that are still not connected to the national electricity grids, and rely heavily on traditional biomass for their energy needs. Policies and measures must be undertaken to improve access to modern energy services such as electricity and clean cooking facilities. The promotion of clean cooking fuels such as LPG or butane gas (through targeted subsidies) and improved cooking stoves are required to improve household's energy access. Measures targeting the decrease of the share of biomass in total energy consumption should be particularly encouraged. The intensive use of biomass has harmful effects on economic development, human health and can exacerbate problems of land degradation and deforestation. Traditional sources of biomass are associated with degradation of forest and woodland resources, including soil erosion. Harvesting of firewood, in particular, contributes to deforestation, soil erosion, and desertification. These measures will result in increase of energy demand; this requires thinking of improving both the availability and reliability of energy supply. Thus, at the macro level, policy measures should be adopted to improve the availability of energy in the region. Among other things, that will consist of investments in the region's huge renewable energy resources as well as in renewable energy infrastructures and technologies. Energy availability improvement also involves increasing energy efficiency (including energy savings) in the public sectors and power sectors (by ensuring efficiency in generation to transmission and distribution sectors). The “fuel switching” from oil power plants to gas power plants or hydroelectric power plants should be targeted for carbon emissions reduction in the electricity sector. In addition, there is high deployment potential of renewable technologies, including modern biomass, biofuels and solar technologies, that could also help to reduce greatly the carbon intensity of the electricity sector. To improve energy availability, sub-regional and regional approach should be a preferred solution because of uneven distribution of energy resources among the member states, and because of the economies of scale likely to be generated by regional option. The huge potential of renewable energy sources of ECOWAS is currently underused. This is because installed capacities from renewable energy in individual countries are weak. Moreover, technology choices are limited, inadequate and ineffective and that lead to costly technical and non-technical losses in the power sector. Regional approach can also provide greater leverage in obtaining the financial resources required to increase the share of renewable energy as a source of power generation. Regional projects such as the West Africa Gas Pipeline (which plans to use flare-gas in Nigeria to feed power station in neighbouring countries) or the West African Power Pool (mechanism for integrating the national power system operations into a unified regional electricity market) should be encouraged. Indeed regional power pools could create economies of scale and prevent power shortages. They are also able to reduce electricity costs and improve conditions on the supply side. The West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) seeks thus to improve access to reliable, stable, sustainable and affordable electricity. It also seeks to develop integrated regional electricity market that can enhance reliability and lower cost of electricity across the region. Operating costs will fall, thanks to investments in the regional least-cost power generating systems. Regional power pools are also able to improve conditions on the supply side by contributing to increase reliability and power generation reserves for the interconnected power grids to deal with local droughts or other unexpected events. Therefore, regional energy integration should allow ensuring availability and accessibility of modern energy for all, especially those with low incomes. In conclusion, our results show that energy consumption and economic growth are interrelated and complement each other. An increase in real GDP per capita leads to an increase in energy consumption per capita in the short-run and, this in turn can increase production in real sector. In addition, our results highlight the fact that access to electricity, used as a proxy for modern energy, is a prerequisite for economic growth. The impact of electricity consumption on the GDP is greater than total energy consumption. Moreover, improve access to electricity and clean household fuels is needed to reduce the use of traditional biomass that is responsible for the health problems associated with woodfuel and charcoal consumption and contributes to the deforestation and desertification of the region. Energy consumption and more specifically, electricity consumption is thus a key driver for economic growth within ECOWAS. Hence, the challenge of providing adequate and reliable energy cannot be divorced from the other challenges facing these poor countries. Energy poverty cannot be separated from the many challenges the ECOWAS countries must tackle.