The influence of renewable and non-renewable energy consumption and real income on CO2 emissions in the USA: evidence from structural break tests
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The objective of this study is to explore the influence of the real income (GDP), renewable energy consumption and non-renewable energy consumption on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the United States of America (USA) in the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) model for the period 1980-2014. The Zivot-Andrews unit root test with a structural break and the Clemente-Montanes-Reyes unit root test with a structural break report that the analyzed variables become stationary at first-differences. The Gregory-Hansen cointegration test with a structural break and the bounds testing for cointegration in the presence of a structural break show CO2 emissions, the real income, the quadratic real income, renewable and non-renewable energy consumption are cointegrated. The long-run estimates obtained from the ARDL model indicate that increases in renewable energy consumption mitigate environmental degradation whereas increases in non-renewable energy consumption contribute to CO2 emissions. In addition, the EKC hypothesis is not valid for the USA. Since we use time-series econometric approaches that account for structural break in the data, findings of this study are robust, reliable and accurate. The US government is advised to put more weights on renewable sources in energy mix, to support and encourage the use and adoption of renewable energy and clean technologies, and to increase the public awareness of renewable energy for lower levels of emissions.