Utilities’ Business Models for Renewable Energy: Evidence from Germany

Mario Richter
Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp110572385

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:14, s. 2385-2392

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This study on German utilities’ business models for renewable energies provides new insights into the thinking of Germany’s leading utilities about future business models. Two generic business models are derived from the literature and are subsequently analyzed based on a series of in-depth interviews. A core result is that utilities clearly favor large scale projects over small scale projects on the customer-side. This result can be explained with the return potential and renewable energy portfolio standards. Contradictory to the existing literature; German utilities do not see electricity generation on the customer-side as threat to their business model. Instead; they develop very different approaches for large scale projects. It can be concluded that utility engagement in customer-side business models will remain limited in Germany; whereas large scale projects are seen as a promising future business model. The analysis from a business model perspective also shows that both business models; for small scale as well as for large scale projects; still offer room for innovation. Hence; business model innovation can help utilities to create and capture more value in the energy transition.


Renewable Energy; Business Model; Utility; Energy Transition


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