In this study, determinants of the relation between woody biomass energy consumption and economic growth were discussed. The relationship was examined by Autoregressive-Distributed Lag (ARDL) model for selected Sub-Saharan African countries such as Angola, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles and South Africa for the period of 1980-2013. According to empirical results, there is unidirectional causality from woody biomass energy consumption to economic growth for Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Niger; from economic growth to woody biomass energy consumption for Seychelles. The bidirectional relationship is supported for Benin, Mauritania, Nigeria and South Africa. The results of this paper demonstrate that structural changes should be implemented in renewable energy policies of the selected countries. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.