IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v45y2016i9p1731-1742.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Governing sustainability transitions through business model innovation: Towards a systems understanding

Author

Listed:
  • Bolton, Ronan
  • Hannon, Matthew

Abstract

This paper examines the role of innovative business models in the transformation of socio-technical systems. Focusing on decentralised energy technologies, we explore business model innovation in the context of a transition towards a more sustainable energy system. We conduct an empirical study of two Energy Services Company (ESCo) models for the deployment of combined heat and power with district heating (CHP/DH) infrastructure in the UK. Based on these case studies we illustrate the different ways in which Local Authorities develop business models to create and capture value from more efficient resource use and to deploy sustainable technologies. Drawing from systems theories in the business model and socio-technical literatures, we analyse the interfaces between business models, energy infrastructure and institutions. We propose that a systems based approach to the analysis of business models as embedded in their socio-technical contexts can offer new insights into the dynamics and governance of sustainability transitions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bolton, Ronan & Hannon, Matthew, 2016. "Governing sustainability transitions through business model innovation: Towards a systems understanding," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1731-1742.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:9:p:1731-1742
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.05.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733316300774
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richter, Mario, 2012. "Utilities’ business models for renewable energy: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 2483-2493.
    2. Bohnsack, René & Pinkse, Jonatan & Kolk, Ans, 2014. "Business models for sustainable technologies: Exploring business model evolution in the case of electric vehicles," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 284-300.
    3. Ronan Bolton & Timothy J Foxon, 2013. "Urban Infrastructure Dynamics: Market Regulation and the Shaping of District Energy in UK Cities," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 45(9), pages 2194-2211, September.
    4. Bolton, Ronan & Foxon, Timothy J., 2015. "Infrastructure transformation as a socio-technical process — Implications for the governance of energy distribution networks in the UK," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PB), pages 538-550.
    5. ., 1998. "Technological Change," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 127 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Elizabeth Shove & Gordon Walker, 2007. "CAUTION! Transitions ahead: politics, practice, and sustainable transition management," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(4), pages 763-770, April.
    7. Arapostathis, Stathis & Carlsson-Hyslop, Anna & Pearson, Peter J G & Thornton, Judith & Gradillas, Maria & Laczay, Scott & Wallis, Suzanne, 2013. "Governing transitions: Cases and insights from two periods in the history of the UK gas industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 25-44.
    8. Geels, Frank W., 2004. "From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems: Insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 897-920, September.
    9. Wells, Peter & Nieuwenhuis, Paul, 2012. "Transition failure: Understanding continuity in the automotive industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 79(9), pages 1681-1692.
    10. Geels, Frank W. & Schot, Johan, 2007. "Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-417, April.
    11. Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1993. "In search of useful theory of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 108-108, April.
    12. Geels, Frank W., 2014. "Reconceptualising the co-evolution of firms-in-industries and their environments: Developing an inter-disciplinary Triple Embeddedness Framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 261-277.
    13. Smith, Adrian & Voß, Jan-Peter & Grin, John, 2010. "Innovation studies and sustainability transitions: The allure of the multi-level perspective and its challenges," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 435-448, May.
    14. Markard, Jochen & Raven, Rob & Truffer, Bernhard, 2012. "Sustainability transitions: An emerging field of research and its prospects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 955-967.
    15. Hannon, Matthew J. & Bolton, Ronan, 2015. "UK Local Authority engagement with the Energy Service Company (ESCo) model: Key characteristics, benefits, limitations and considerations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 198-212.
    16. Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
    17. Hannon, Matthew J. & Foxon, Timothy J. & Gale, William F., 2013. "The co-evolutionary relationship between Energy Service Companies and the UK energy system: Implications for a low-carbon transition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1031-1045.
    18. Helm, Dieter, 2003. "Energy, the State, and the Market: British Energy Policy since 1979," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199262038.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:117:y:2018:i:c:p:445-456 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:rensus:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:525-535 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:118:y:2018:i:c:p:492-503 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:grdene:v:27:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10726-018-9564-z is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1506-:d:109605 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:9:p:1731-1742. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.