استراتژی های رشد آب و برق کنونی به عنوان بستر، جا افتاده: نمونه هایی از دانمارک، آلمان، فنلاند و اسپانیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22602||2014||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8580 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technology in Society, Volume 38, August 2014, Pages 81–92
In this article changes in the electricity industries of four different countries are analyzed in terms of the incumbent utilities' growth strategies. The economic activities are analyzed as socially embedded as we analyze how the social context influences these strategies. A typology for analyzing growth strategies based on the relative strength of social ties and focus on markets is presented. Qualitative case studies of the three largest incumbent utilities in Denmark, Germany, Finland and Spain were analyzed. Our findings show that incumbent utilities with relatively strong social relations can influence the energy policies, and their growth strategies tend to be more focused on domestic markets. In the opposite case, the growth strategies are more likely to be based on diversification and internationalization. We conclude that an incomplete unbundling of interests appears to slow down changes in the incumbent utilities' growth strategies. Thus, we propose that a complete unbundling of interests is needed.
The changes in the electricity industries of many European countries have been rather modest and slow in the past. Fossil fuels and conventional energy technologies dominate electricity generation . Competition in the electricity industry is still rather low and barriers to entry remain high (see, e.g., Ref. ). This article analyzes changes in the electricity industry by analyzing incumbent utilities' growth strategies. Incumbent utilities own large portions of the energy generation infrastructure  and they are in a key position to influence how this industry will change in the future. Electricity supply is the main business area of the incumbent utilities, in which many of the largest European utilities have chosen to remain. Several utilities have opted for domestic and international mergers and acquisitions in order to grow ,  and . A few incumbents have chosen to diversify into new energy technology businesses, mainly after substantial changes in government policies and the introduction of incentives to use renewable energy  and . There are several reasons why many incumbents have not changed their strategies. For example, companies without previous experience or relevant capabilities in distributed renewable electricity generation are less likely to integrate these technologies into their operations than those with some experience (Markard and Truffer, 2006) . There is also evidence that some incumbent utilities are powerful enough to influence national energy policies and even to slow down changes in the market  and . Another reason could be that companies often have rather limited abilities to identify and exploit new markets as they tend to rely more on beliefs than facts when analyzing changes in markets . Or, as Storbacka et al. (2009)  pointed out, companies often perceive “the rules of the market” as being given and unchangeable. Therefore, a key to market change is to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence incumbent utilities' strategies. Clifton et al. (2010)  found that the responses of the incumbents to changes in the markets do not seem to follow a universal logic, but a country and firm logic would be more applicable. Hence, our main research focus is to analyze how the social context influences incumbent utilities' growth strategies. These strategies are analyzed as socially embedded  and . We are particularly interested in how the contextual factors influence the kind of strategies that the utilities consider appropriate and for what reason . In other words, our focus is on the strategies that the incumbents have chosen and the context in which these choices were made. Empirical examples are drawn from the electricity industry, in particularly incumbent utilities, which are well suited for analyzing strategies as socially embedded as the electricity industry is deeply rooted in the context it exists, such as fuel choices, energy need, climatic conditions and other contextual peculiarities that have influenced the development of this industry. Finally, regardless of the growing number of international climate conventions and agreements related to energy, the electricity industries still also remain under the jurisdiction of national governments, highlighting the importance of analyzing utilities' strategies in the country context. In the next section we propose a typology for analyzing incumbents' growth strategies. This is followed by an overview of the main changes in electricity industries and generation technologies. Then the research method used in the analyses is presented. The analysis section is based on the strategies of the three largest incumbent utilities from four EU countries. The paper ends with a summary of findings and conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article set out to analyze the reasons for the slow pace of change in the electricity industry. Incumbent utilities form the core of the industry and in this study their growth strategies were analyzed in order to gain new insights into the matter. As the electricity industry is linked to each country's resources and historical developments, the utilities' strategies were analyzed as being embedded in the social context. A typology was developed to analyze and compare the strategies of different utilities from different contexts. The typology was based on evaluating the relative strength of the social ties and focus on the market. We performed an empirical analysis of the growth strategies of the three largest utilities in four EU countries. The countries chosen differ in their electricity industries, domestic energy sources and industrial infrastructure, which have resulted in different energy policies. Our findings suggest two main factors that have slowed down changes in the utilities' growth strategies. First, on the basis of the generating capacity the utilities own, it can be stated that very few utilities had experience or capabilities relevant to distributed renewable power generation, which slows down changes (as also suggested by  and ). Second, the relative strength of the social ties appears to influence the incumbent utilities' growth strategies. It seems that the utilities with relatively strong social relations can influence the energy policies in a manner that often maintains sameness, for example, in terms of the scales and types of generation technologies or fuel sources supported by the policies. If the utilities' social ties are weaker, the policies are more likely to introduce changes in the market and in the utilities' policies. On the basis of the findings presented here, it seems that utilities with relatively weak social ties seem to be more likely to diversify than utilities with stronger social ties. These findings are quite similar to those to be found in the extant literature (see, e.g., Refs. ,  and ). A major part of the electricity generating capacity of the utilities is based on conventional energy and is rather old. Therefore, even though the capacity of, e.g., wind and solar power has increased, these technologies differ significantly from the conventional ones and require specific knowledge which the incumbent utilities often lack. Internationalization seemed to be a relatively commonly used growth strategy among the utilities, regardless of the relative strength of their social ties. However, the focus on the market appears to be influenced by the utilities' resources. The smaller utilities with fewer resources are less likely to internationalize than larger ones. Another important factor is the difference in the national energy policies in terms of their support for different renewable energy technologies and their magnitude. In this case, internationalization can be influenced by an interest in gaining access to a particular renewable energy technology. If the public support is generous, even economic factors could favor investing in the new technologies. Naturally, internationalization is also influenced by an interest in gaining access to new markets . Our findings confirm those of Levi-Faur (2003) , who stated that despite privatization and liberalization, the unbundling of interests often seems to be rather incomplete. The ties between government and utilities can exist at multiple levels through ownerships and policy-making processes. They appear to slow down changes in the utilities' strategies and changes in the electricity industry as a whole. Future studies to gain a deeper insight into the changes in the electricity industry could include an in-depth study of the ties and networks between the incumbent utilities and the governments, which could shed more light on the slowness of the changes. An analysis of the personal networks of the managers of the utilities could also add to the knowledge. Another interesting area of research could be to analyze the capabilities and attitudes of the managers in the incumbent utilities that may influence the development of the strategies. An analysis of the role of the managers' beliefs in strategy making (following Refs.  and ) could also lead to an improved understanding of the factors that influence the changes.