Energy Prices, Income and Electricity Consumption in Africa: The Role of Technological Innovation
In this paper, we examine an extended model of the determinants of electricity consumption to include the effect of technological innovation represented by the number of patent and trademark registered. The study focused on 35 African countries from 2009 to 2018 based on availability of records on patent and trademark registration. Both the one and two-step system generalized method of moments were explored to estimate the empirical model. The models were estimated in five different categories to properly account for the behaviour of technological innovation and other determinants of electricity consumption. It was revealed that technological innovation has an insignificant effect on electricity consumption in Africa. However, other variables of interest affected electricity consumption in diverse ways; while per capita income and population growth have positive and significant effect on electricity consumption, energy price and FDI inflows exhibit a negative and significant effect on electricity consumption. The results suggest that technological innovation has not promoted energy efficiency in Africa possibly due to weak innovative capabilities of African countries. Hence government effort should be geared towards improving innovative technology in the region.
Keywords: Technological Innovation, Energy price, Electricity consumption, GDP per capita, System Generalized Method of Moments
JEL Classifications: O30, O34, P18, Q20