Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 221–237 | Cite as

The Impact of Renewable Energy on Sustainable Growth: Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries

  • Manel KamounEmail author
  • Ines Abdelkafi
  • Abdelfetah Ghorbel


The aim of this work consists in analyzing the effects of renewable energy on sustainable growth in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. We investigate the effects of renewable energy technologies and the consumption of electricity from renewable energy on adjusted net saving (GS). We used a panel model applying on the modified environmental Kuznets curve (MECK) for the case of 13 OECD countries covering the period 1990–2013. Our contribution to the literature is manifested by the decomposing of the independent variable of energy on two types; renewable energies and fossil fuel energies in the MECK. Our results showed that the innovation of renewable energy technologies affects positively adjusted net saving. Electricity from renewable energy has a positive impact on adjusted net saving. The innovation of renewable energy technologies promotes sustainable growth path in the OECD countries. So, policy makers of the OECD countries should, firstly, encourage the consumption of renewable electricity because it has a very high positive impact on sustainable growth path. Secondly, they are invited to stimulate the innovation in renewable energy technologies.


Sustainable growth Renewable energy technologies Environmental Kuznets curve Panel data 

JEL Classification

Q56 Q55 O1 C23 


  1. Aghion P., Blundell R., Griffith R., Howitt P. et Prantl S. (2009). The effects of entry on incumbent innovation and productivity. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1), 20–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aghion, P., & Gilles, S.P. (1998). Virtues of bad times interaction between productivity growth and economic fluctuations. Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, 2(03), September, pp 322–344.Google Scholar
  3. Aghion, P., & Howitt, P. (1992). A model of growth through creative destruction. Econometrica, Econometric Society, 60(2), 323–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aglitta, M. (2011). Croissance durable: mesurons-nous bien le défi? Revue d'économie du développement.19(2).Google Scholar
  5. Asheim, G. B., & Weitzman, M. L. (2001). Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement? Economics Letters, 73(2), 233–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aglietta, M. (2010). Croissance durable: mesurons-nous bien le défi?. Université Paris Ouest (EconomiX), Cepii et Groupama-am 8e conférence AFD/EUDN «Mesure pour mesure: sait-on vraiment mesurer le développement ?», 1er décembre 2010.Google Scholar
  7. Beckerman, W. (1994). Sustainable Development': Is it a Useful Concept? Environmental Values 3:191–209.Google Scholar
  8. Bretschger. L, (2005). Economics of technological change and the natural environment. How effective are innovations as a remedy for resource scarcity? Technological Change and the Environment — Technological Change Economics 148–163.Google Scholar
  9. Brundlandt, (1987). Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future
  10. Costantini, V., & Monni, S. (2008). Environment, human development and economic growth. Ecological Economics, 64, 867–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dasgupta, P., & Mäler, K-G. (2001). Wealth as a criterion for sustainable development, the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics. Discussion Paper no. 139.Google Scholar
  12. Dasgupta, S., & al., (2002). Confronting the environmental Kuznets curve. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16 (1), 147–168.Google Scholar
  13. Del Río, P., & Burguillo, M. (2009). An empirical analysis of the impact of renewable energy deployment on local sustainability. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 13(6–7), 1314–1325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dernis, H., & Guellec, D. (2001). Using patent counts for cross countries comparisons of technology output. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  15. Dincer, I. (2000). Renewable energy and sustainable development: a crucial review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 4(2), 157–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dinda. S, (2004). "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis. A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, 49(4), 431–455.Google Scholar
  17. Dombia, M., Kutia, I., & Baloghb, P. (2014). Sustainability assessment of renewable power and heat generation technologies. Energy Policy, 67, 264–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Farhani, S., Mrizak, S., Chaibi, A., & Rault, C. (2014). The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainability: a panel data analysis. Energy Policy, 71, 189–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Faucheux, S., & Nicolai, I. (1998). Environmental technological change and governance in sustainable development policy. Ecological Economics, 27(3), 243–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fischer, C., Parry, I. W. H., & Pizer, W. A. (2003). Instrument choice for environmental protection when technological innovation is endogenous. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 45(3), 523–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Griliches, Z. (1990). Patent statistics as economic indicators: a survey. Journal of Economic Literature, 28(4), 1661–1707.Google Scholar
  22. Gowdy, J. M., & Ferreri, C. A. (1999). Toward consilience between biology and economics: the contribution of ecological economics. Ecological Economics, 29(3), 337–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grossman, G., & Helpman, E. (1991). Innovation and growth in the global economy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  24. Grossman, G. M., & Krueger, A. B. (1991). Environmental impacts of a north American free trade agreement. Papers 158. Princeton: Woodrow Wilson School-Public and International Affairs.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hamilton, K., & Clemens, M. (1999). Genuine savings rates in developing countries. World Bank Economic Review, 13(2), 333–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harris, R. & Sollis R. (2003). Applied time series modeling and forecasting. Wiley Applications.Google Scholar
  27. Hartman, R., & Kwon, O.-S. (2005). Sustainable growth and the environmental Kuznets curve. Economic Dynamics and Control, 29, 1701–1736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hartwick, J. M. (1977). Intergenerational equity and the investing of rents from exhaustible resources. The American Economic Review, 67(5), 972–974.Google Scholar
  29. Hotelling, H. (1931). The economics of exhaustible resources. Journal of Political Economy, 39(2), 137–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Im, K. S., Pesaran, M. H., & Shin, Y. (2003). Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels. Journal of Econometrics, 115, 53–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. IEA (2013). Annual energy outlook 2013—Energy Information Administration
  32. IPCC. (2007). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  33. Jaffe, A. B., & Stavins, R. N. (1994). The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology. Resource and Energy Economics, 16, 91–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jhonstone, N., Popp, D., & Hascic, I. (2008). Renewable energy policies and technological innovation: evidence based on patent counts. NBR working paper.Google Scholar
  35. Clare, A. R., & Klenow, P. J. (1997). Economic growth: a review essay. Journal of Monetary Economics, 40, 597–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kuznets, S. (1955). Economic growth and income inequality. The American Economic Review, 45, 1–28.Google Scholar
  37. Lanjow, J. O., & Moody, A. (1996). Innovation and the international diffusion of environmentally responsive technology. Policy Research, 25, 549–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lund, H. (2007). Renewable energy strategies for sustainable development, third Dubrovnik conference on sustainable development of energy. Water and Environment Systems, 32(6), 912–919.Google Scholar
  39. Levin, A., Lin, C.-F., & Chu, C.-S. J. (2002). Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties. Journal of Econometrics, 108, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lucas, R. (1988). On the mechanics of economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22(1), 3–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Maddala, G. S., & Wu, S. (2001). A comparative study of unit root tests with panel data and a new simple test. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 61(S1), 631–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Neumayer, E. (2004). Does the “resource curse” hold for growth in genuine income as well?. World Development, 32(10).Google Scholar
  43. Pedroni, P. (2004). Panel cointegration; asymptotic and finite sample properties of pooled time series tests, with an application to the PPP hypothesis. Econometric Theory, 20, 575–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pedroni, P. (2001). Purchasing power parity tests in cointegrated panels. Review of Economics and Statistics, November, 83(4), 727–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pezzey, J. C. V. (2004). Sustainability policy and environmental policy. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, 106(2), 339–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Popp, D. (2001). The effect of new technology on energy consumption. Resource and Energy Economics, 23(3), 215–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Popp, D., Newell, R.G., & Jaffe, A.B. (2010). Energy, the environment, and technological change. In Bronwyn H. Halland and Nathan Rosenberg: Handbook of the economics of innovation, II, 1627–1640.Google Scholar
  48. Romer, P. (1990). Endogenous technical change. Journal of Political Economy, 98, 71–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Saikkonen, P. (1991). Asymptotic efficient estimation of cointegration regressions. Econometric Theory, 7, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schmalensee, R. (1994). The costs of environmental protection. In: Mary Beth Kotowski (ed.), Balancing economic growth and environmental goals. American Council for Capital Formation, Center for Policy Research, Washington, DC, 55–75.Google Scholar
  51. Solow, R. (1974). The economics of resources or the resources of economics. The American Review, 64(2), 1–14.Google Scholar
  52. Solow, R. M. (1986). On the intergenerational allocation of natural resources. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 88(1), 141–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Solow, R. (1993). An almost practical step toward sustainability. Resources Policy, 19(3), 162–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stern N. (2007). The economics of climate change. The Stern review, Cambridge University Press. CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  55. Stern, D. I., Common, M. S., & Barbier, E. B. (1996). Economic growth and environmental degradation: the environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development. World Development, 24, 1151–1160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stiglitz, J. (1974). Growth with exhaustible natural resources: efficient and optimal growth paths. The Review of Economic Studies, 41, 123–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Stock, J. H., & Watson, M. W. (1993). A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems. Econometrica, 61, 783–820.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tisdell, C. (2001). Globalisation and sustainability: environmental Kuznets curve and the WTO. Ecological Economics, 39, 185–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Varuna, R., Prakashb, I., & Bhat, K. (2009). Energy, economics and environmental impacts of renewable energy systems. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 13(9), 216–272.Google Scholar
  60. Vollebergh, H. R. J., & Kemfert, C. (2005). The role of technological change for a sustainable development. Technological change and the environment. Ecological Economics, 54(2–3), 133–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. World Bank (2006). World Development Report, «Equity and Development”,
  62. World Bank (2015). Monitoring reports: (2014/2015).
  63. Young, A. (1991). Learning by doing and the dynamic effects of international trade. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(2), 346–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manel Kamoun
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ines Abdelkafi
    • 2
  • Abdelfetah Ghorbel
    • 1
  1. 1.CODECI, FSEG, University of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.URED, ESC, University of SfaxSfaxTunisia

Personalised recommendations