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Energy efficiency in Swedish SMEs: Exploring barriers, knowledge creation and the role of municipal energy efficiency programs
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för tema, Tema teknik och social förändring. Linköpings universitet, Filosofiska fakulteten.
2018 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)Alternativ tittel
Energieffektivitet i svenska små och medelstora företag : En undersökning av hinder, skapande av kunskap och kommunernas energieffektiviseringsprogram (svensk)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to analyze how municipalities support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their work to improve their energy efficiency. The purpose of this study is to increase the current understanding of how the methods and tools used by municipalities to assist SMEs in improving their energy efficiency influence the end results in terms of achieved energy efficiency, and how knowledge related to energy efficiency is created within SMEs. This thesis consists of two separate case studies that examine how two municipalities used a network approach to support SMEs in implementing energy efficient measures.  

The theoretical frameworks of policy networks, barriers, communities of practice (COPs), and energy efficiency networks were used in this thesis. The findings are presented in the appended four articles. An overall conclusion is that networks that provide information in the form of a report with technological solutions as the only output are less likely to reach the agreed-upon goals. To achieve a more successful result, SMEs must be active in the process; they must be allowed to create knowledge and understanding that they perceive as valuable and relevant for themselves. Another important result is that information is not automatically transformed by SMEs into knowledge. In fact, SMEs need a platform from which they can negotiate the received information and use it to create knowledge through practice and social interaction. Finally, it was found that the type of technological solution is not insignificant; the type of energy efficient measure to be implemented and its level of complexity affect how a municipality should support energy efficiency work among SMEs. 

Abstract [sv]

För att policyprogram och riktlinjer ska kunna utformas så att de leder till uppfyllandet av miljömål behöver kommuner samverkar med bland annat det lokala näringslivet. En form av samverkan som har börjat användas av kommuner är nätverk där man för samman företag med olika experter som tillsammans med kommunala representanter arbetar med att införa energieffektiva lösningar i dessa företag.

Syftet med denna avhandling är att studera hur kommuner har stöttat små -och medelstora företag (SMF) i deras arbete med att införa energieffektiva lösningar i sina verksamheter. Detta undersöks med hjälp av fallstudier av hur två olika kommuner har arbetat med att ge stöd till lokala SMF. Dessa två fall beskriver två olika sätt som kommunerna har jobbat med detta. Fokus i avhandlingen har varit inte bara på hur kommunerna har valt att stödja SMF utan också på hur SMF skapar kunskap och tar till sig information. Dessutom undersöks vilka faktorer i form av så kallade barriärer som kan tänkas hindra SMF från att införa energieffektiva lösningar i sina verksamheter.

För analys av den insamlade empirin så har olika teorier använts såsom policynätverk, barriärer, Community of Practice (COP) och energieffektiviseringsnätverk. Resultaten beskrivs mer utförligt i de bifogade artiklarna. Resultaten pekar på att nätverk där bara information i form av en rapport delges SMF så är sannolikheten låg att målen kommer att uppfyllas. Detta beror på att SMF inte automatiskt omvandlar delgiven information till användbar kunskap. Istället behöver kommuner skapa en plattform där SMF får möjligheter att arbeta med den delgivna informationen på ett aktivt sätt i ett relevant sammanhang som de anser att de har nytta av. På så sätt kan värdefull kunskap genereras via praktiker och sociala sammanhang. Ett annat viktigt resultat är att typ av teknisk lösning och komplexitetsnivå inte är oviktiga utan dessa måste kommunerna ta hänsyn till när de skapar olika policyprogram som stöd till SMF för att kunna uppnå energieffektiviseringsmål.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. , s. 92
Serie
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 742
Emneord [en]
Policy programs, energy efficiency networks, Community of Practice (COPs), barriers, knowledge creation
Emneord [sv]
Policyprogram, energieffektiviseringsnätverk, Community of Practice (COP), barriärer, skapande av kunskap
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147760DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-147760ISBN: 9789176852897 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-147760DiVA, id: diva2:1205320
Disputas
2018-06-08, TEMCAS, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-05-14 Laget: 2018-05-14 Sist oppdatert: 2018-05-18bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Policy network creation as a driver of energy-efficient industry
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Policy network creation as a driver of energy-efficient industry
2017 (engelsk)Inngår i: International Journal of Energy Sector Management, ISSN 1750-6220, E-ISSN 1750-6239, Vol. 11, nr 1, s. 143-157Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines a Swedish municipality that has started addressing energy efficiency in local businesses by creating a network involving 60 companies showing that the network has too broad a problem definition, which does not help unify the involved actors.

Purpose

This paper studies a Swedish municipality that wants to go beyond its own operations, involving the local industry in saving energy to improve the environment. The paper aims to analyse the experiences and practical implications of using policy networks for implementing energy-efficiency measures in private industrial companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers closely followed a Swedish municipality and its work to engage the local industry in energy-efficiency activities. Participatory observations of meetings and workshops and semi-structured interviews with involved actors were conducted.

Findings

The study examines a Swedish municipality that has started addressing energy efficiency in local businesses by creating a network involving 60 companies. This network was tested in relation to four hypotheses on how policy networks develop. The study finds that the network has too broad a problem definition, which does not help unify the involved actors. The companies’ involvement is based on passive participation in which they are receivers of information. The network has been unable to use a social control mechanism because there have been few company-to-company meetings. In conclusion, for a network to be an efficient policy tool, its structure is as important as the ideas for action and clear goals.

Research limitations/implications

This case study of one Swedish municipality allows for analytical but not statistical generalization.

Originality/value

The paper uniquely calls for reflection on whether municipalities and local authorities have enough competence to drive industrial energy efficiency.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017
Emneord
Industry, Governance, Interviews, Urban, Energy efficiency, Metagovernor, Participatory observations, Policy network
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147745 (URN)10.1108/IJESM-10-2015-0004 (DOI)000401021900009 ()2-s2.0-85017530460 (Scopus ID)
Konferanse
2018/05/09
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-05-09 Laget: 2018-05-09 Sist oppdatert: 2018-05-17bibliografisk kontrollert
2. Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Swedish Non-Energy-Intensive Micro- and Small-Sized Enterprises-A Case Study of a Local Energy Program
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Swedish Non-Energy-Intensive Micro- and Small-Sized Enterprises-A Case Study of a Local Energy Program
2017 (engelsk)Inngår i: Energies, ISSN 1996-1073, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 10, nr 1, artikkel-id 100Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Improved energy efficiency has become a strategic issue and represents a priority for European competitiveness. Countries adopt various energy policies on local and national levels where energy audit programs are the most common energy end-use efficiency policy for industrial small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, studies indicate that cost-efficient energy conservation measures are not always implemented, which can be explained by the existence of barriers to energy efficiency. This paper investigates how Swedish municipalities can support local micro-and small-sized enterprises with improved energy efficiency and the existence of different barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency. Relating this empirical case study to the theoretical barriers outlined in the text, this study found that the major explanatory factors related to non-implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures among micro-and small-sized industrial enterprises were bounded rationality (lack of time and/or other priorities), split incentives (having other priorities for capital investments), and imperfect information (slim organization and lack of technical skill). This study also found that information in the form of a report was the main thing that companies gained from working on the project "Energy-Driven Business". Notably, the study involved companies that had participated in a local energy program and, still, companies face major barriers inhibiting implementation, indicating a need to further study other alternative policy models and how knowledge transfer can be improved.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
MDPI AG, 2017
Emneord
barriers; energy efficiency; Swedish local enterprises; municipal
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134489 (URN)10.3390/en10010100 (DOI)000392422500100 ()
Merknad

Funding Agencies|Swedish Energy Agency [37911-1]

Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-02-15 Laget: 2017-02-15 Sist oppdatert: 2018-05-14
3. Local knowledge creation with the use of industrial energy efficiency networks (IEENs): A Swedish case study
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Local knowledge creation with the use of industrial energy efficiency networks (IEENs): A Swedish case study
2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 42, s. 147-154Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a case study of a Swedish municipality, focusing on how local industry and local authorities, collaborating through industrial energy efficiency networks (IEENs), can increase the amount of realized energy efficient measures. The Swedish case discussed here has similarities to a German/Swiss organizational model with the purpose of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their implementation of energy efficient measures. Both models have a strong focus on knowledge creation through practice rather than on information sharing. The background, design, benefits, and drawbacks of the Swedish case model are discussed here through document studies and interviews with participants in the project. The Swedish model implies that by supporting knowledge creation in SMEs through a practice dimension, the amount of realized energy efficient measures can be increased. This model should therefore be recognized as an effective policy instrument for municipalities that are interested in supporting local industry. Another conclusion is that information sharing in networks must be complemented by the creation of situated local knowledge through practices. Finally, value, situated practical experience, trust, knowledge creation, and informal meetings are important factors that enabled the network to fully support SMEs in implementing energy efficient measures.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Elsevier, 2018
Emneord
IEENs, Community of practice, Situated learning, Knowledge creation
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147744 (URN)10.1016/j.erss.2018.03.027 (DOI)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-05-09 Laget: 2018-05-09 Sist oppdatert: 2018-05-17bibliografisk kontrollert

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