دستیابی به موفقیت بدون کمک های مالی ؟ آزمایش های مدل کسب و کار فتوولتائیک در هلند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|7830||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8402 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 56, May 2013, Pages 362–370
Despite a lack of steady governmental support for PV in the Netherlands over the last decade, from 2008 onwards an increased number of initiatives started experimenting with new business models for PV. Though absolute numbers of installed capacity are still low, this is a promising sign. In this article we aim to contribute to the understanding of these developments by using insights from both business model and transition studies literature (i.e. Strategic Niche Management). By performing a literature study and a series of interviews we found three main types of business models: Customer-Owned, Community Shares and Third Party. Financial viability of these was found to be heavily dependent on net metering regulations which are surrounded by uncertainty and struggle about its meaning and application. Also, the overall PV niche is maturing. We found several local and national organizations lobbying for expansion of the space for PV business model experiments and enabling knowledge sharing and networking between initiatives. Furthermore, a number of regime players is getting involved in the PV niche. Considering the current economic turndown and related subsidy cuts in many other countries we believe the Netherlands, with its relatively poor and unstable support system, could serve as an example.
Over the last decades it has become increasingly clear that our fossil fuel based energy system is unsustainable. Depletion and uneven distribution of resources as well as air pollution by combustion of fossil fuels and climate change have fostered the search for a transition to a more sustainable system. Solar energy or PhotoVoltaics (PV) is a very promising option. It has by far the largest potential and, after a few decades of development, it has become a proven technology that can contribute to energy security in all countries; it also does not produce any harmful emissions in the operational phase (EPIA and Greenpeace, 2011). The main barrier to a large scale application of PV has been the high costs of the electricity produced. However, in recent years, there has been a dramatic change. Continuous growth has resulted in a total installed capacity of 40 GW in 2010 globally (EPIA, 2011) corresponding to a seven time increase compared to 2005 (REN21, 2011). About 30 GW could be contributed to the European Union (EPIA, 2011). In 2011 this number increased to an installed capacity of 69 GW of which Europe retained the major share of 51 GW (EPIA, 2012). However, the European market is very unbalanced with only a handful of countries like Germany and Italy dominating the market in 2011 (EPIA, 2012). This can be explained by the favorable Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) policies that these countries have in place (Schleicher-Tappeser, 2012 and Timilsina et al., 2012). These policies have created a large market for PV and production capacity has increased dramatically, in particular in China. As a result, prices of PV modules have come down substantially from more than $4 per Wp in 2008 to less than $1 per Wp by January 2012 (Aanesen et al., 2012). However, not every PV module producer could keep up with the reduction of costs, leading to pressure on profit margins and a major shakeup of the industry. Additionally, because of the economic crisis subsidies are cut in many countries leading to a decreased demand as well. As a result many solar energy manufacturing companies have gone bankrupt in the last years (Aanesen et al., 2012). Compared to Germany or Italy, the Netherlands has only a minor share with a total installed capacity of just 130 MW in 2011, corresponding to only 0.3% of the total renewable energy, which is less than 0.02% of total energy demand (CBS, 2012a). The Dutch PV sector puts the blame on government policy. From 2003 until 2008 there has been no governmental support for PV; as a result only a minor growth was observed (KEMA et al., 2010). In 2008 the ‘Stimulering Duurzame Energie’ (SDE; Stimulation of Renewable Energy) subsidy scheme was put in place by the national government and an increase in installed PV systems could be observed. However, there have been several problems with this SDE subsidy scheme. There was considerable interest but only a limited amount of money was available. There were also many complaints about the difficult and rather bureaucratic nature of the whole procedure. From the 69 MW of total accorded applications in 2010 only 18 MW had been installed in March 2011 (AgentschapNL, 2011). Moreover, it has been argued that the SDE subsidy scheme actually limited market growth because of a loss of motivation for investing in PV by parties that were excluded from the subsidy scheme.1 In July 2011 a new subsidy scheme was introduced (SDE+) but now the government focused on the cheapest renewable energy technologies available (Verhagen, 2010). Also, only PV systems larger than 15 kWp were included (AgentschapNL, 2012). Although a total of €1.5 billion was reserved, just €35 million has been granted to solar PV projects. For 2012, regulations for PV even became stricter as no subsidies are granted to small scale users (maximum 3⁎80 A connection; households and SMEs) since these are already profiting from net metering regulations (Verhagen, 2011). Net metering is the financial balancing of electricity taken from and provided to the grid on the energy bill (Würtenberger et al., 2011). A combination of increasing electricity and decreasing PV system prices has made net metering a central issue in recent years. In April 2012, the Dutch national cabinet fell. After this, several political parties gathered together to form a temporary coalition with the Spring Agreement as an outcome. In this agreement a new subsidy scheme for PV was included. From July 2012, households could apply for a 15% reduction in the costs of a PV system with a maximum of €650. For 2012 a total of €22 million has been reserved (Verhagen, 2012). The weak support and frequent changes in policy have been singled out as the main reason why the contribution of renewables, including PV, to the Dutch electricity production is one of the lowest in Europe (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS), 2012a and Verbong et al., 2008). Despite this, from 2008 onwards an increased number of initiatives has started experimenting with new ways to create viable business models for PV in the Netherlands in order to increase the PV market share in the Dutch energy supply system. For 2012, these initiatives are expected to create an extra installed PV capacity of 42 MW (Segaar, 2012). Although the total amount of installed capacity is still low, this is a promising sign. So how can we understand these new market developments? Is this the way forward in a time where subsidy cuts have led to crumbling PV markets in many other European countries? Also, from 2009 onwards venture capital firms started to focus their investments in downstream PV business models rather than in low profit manufacturing companies (Aanesen et al., 2012). However, the development of such innovative business models is not straightforward. Because of rapidly changing contextual conditions, business models cannot be fully anticipated in advance and therefore learning and experimenting are essential (McGrath, 2010 and Mullins and Komisar, 2009). Such business model experiments can take place both within and between firms. By performing business model experiments new business opportunities can be found or even created (Chesbrough, 2010 and Osterwalder and Pigneur, 2010). However, despite the growing body of research in this field, empirical data for support of the above findings are still limited. Business model experiments have been a new topic of research in the field of sustainability transition studies as well. This field of research studies socio-technical transitions, structural changes in the way societal functions like mobility or energy supply are being performed (Geels and Schot, 2010). Radically new, sustainable technologies like PV emerge in protected spaces called niches. Strategic Niche Management (SNM) focuses on the analysis of niche developments. Niches provide promising technologies with the opportunity to develop, but to become mainstream the experiments need to be up scaled. In this context, SNM scholars recently started exploring the role of business model experiments in sustainability transition pathways as well (Cheschin, 2012, Geels, 2011, Jolly et al., 2012 and Raven et al., 2008). With this paper we aim to contribute to the further understanding of the role of business model experiments in up scaling processes and socio-technical change. We will analyze a set of business model experiments for PV in the Netherlands using insights from both business model and Strategic Niche Management. In the following section relevant insights from both business model and strategic niche management literature will be further discussed. Next, we will discuss the method that has been used for data collection, and present the main results. The paper will end with a discussion and conclusion section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Despite the poor track record in renewables in general, the Netherlands seem to catch up rapidly, at least in the field of PV. In this article, we have tried to find out what is behind the recent surge in Dutch PV initiatives. Government support in the form of subsidies is part of the explanation, but as we have argued, government policy has been very ad hoc and not consistent. The latest change in policy as part of the recent Spring Agreement is just another example. But there has been a remarkable change. Whereas in the past PV promoters regularly have demanded more support for PV, the reception of this new subsidy has been only lukewarm. The general opinion is that this instrument reduces motivation for consumers not eligible for subsidy and, more importantly, that the Dutch market does not need subsidies anymore (although many projects have applied for the subsidy). So what explains the imminent PV breakthrough in the Netherlands? First, prices of PV modules have come down substantially. Combined with relatively high electricity prices PV has become much more attractive. But the main reason has been the development of new business models. We have found these to be financially supported by both local and national governmental bodies, for example in the form of tax deductions after investment. In particular, the instrument of net metering has been crucial, because the balancing of the electricity bill offers small consumers a high reward for generating solar electricity. With every increase in the kWh price, this becomes even more attractive. Although the option of net metering has already been introduced in the 1998 Electricity Bill, this option has only recently become a key issue. There has been a lot of uncertainty about the specific conditions for application of net metering. Moreover, expansion of net metering, e.g. to include virtual net metering, has become a central issue in policy and regulation. Local governments in particular support experiments with virtual net metering based business models. Here, the link between institutional factors (regulation) and business models is very clear. With the growing success of net metering, it will likely remain a contested issue for the next couple of years. Although net metering is a key component of the explanation for the rapidly increasing number of PV-initiatives, business models also address other barriers, like the high up front investments and supplier guarantees (risks, quality). Three main business model experiment categories were found: Customer Owned, Community Shares and Third Party business models. This is in line with the three categories identified by Sauter and Watson (2007). Also, our cases show a range of options within these categories as well as overlapping business model categories. However, while Sauter and Watson only considered ‘the company’ and ‘the consumer’ in their analysis, we found different types of actors to be necessary for successful implementation of the business model, like volunteers and local governments. The majority of the initiatives focus on collective buying of solar panels. Third party business models are emerging but these are much more complex and sometimes also require changes in existing legislation. Large industrial projects are not financially viable because of the low energy taxes that have to be paid for high energy use. Finally, Community Shares business models were rarely found because of the need for regulatory changes to approve for virtual or off-site net metering. Next to a growing number of projects, also the PV niche is maturing. Several lobby organizations try to increase the space of PV business model experiments. Local governments play a prominent role, but increasingly other actors, regime players like DNOs and utilities but also actors from other fields are getting engaged in PV-activities. Additionally, several local and national organizations are supporting knowledge sharing and networking activities between the different initiatives. Also, some of the initiatives are part of a broader development towards local renewable energy companies (i.e. cooperatives). In this paper we have shown that a combined SNM-BM approach can lead to new insights in the up scaling of renewable energy technologies like PV that would not have been found with an individual SNM or BM theoretical approach. While business model literature was very helpful for analyzing the various experiments with business models that are being developed, strategic niche management turned out to be very valuable for analyzing learning processes between experiments (i.e. business model experimental pathways), broader PV niche development processes and existing regime barriers that are of direct influence on the development and up scaling of new business models. However, we consider this to be a starting point and recommend further research on the topic. Although net metering has pushed the Dutch market forward over the last years, it is not the only explanation for its rise. Under absence of additional, steady support, like in many of its neighboring countries (e.g. Belgium (Flanders)), people have become creative entrepreneurs developing new business models for PV and establishing the necessary boundary conditions for its implementation. Considering the current economic turndown and related subsidy cuts in many other countries, it would be highly valuable to consider the Dutch PV market as an example for future PV market growth.