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Regional Energy 2050: A sustainability-oriented strategic backcasting methodology for local utilities


  • Nicolai Herrmann


A turnaround in the way we convert and consume energy is the key to successful climate change mitigation. Taking a micro-economic perspective, in order to put the necessary changes into practice corporations in the energy sector need not only have a long-term vision of the developments necessary up to the year 2050. They also have to understand the impacts these developments will have on the firm's competitiveness in short- and medium-term. Does this cause a dilemma? At least this challenge is not addressed in classical strategic management literature. The book at hand shows that sustainable development is about to become a central element of strategic management and corporate decision-making. However, classical trend-based strategy approaches do not address the systemic challenges that arise from the need for sustainable development, especially major emission reductions in the energy sector appropriately. A sustainability-oriented business strategy has to be based on a different understanding of the corporate targets, the strategic decision-making process and the role of the firm within its natural and societal environment. The author shows how corporations can engage in such a target-oriented strategy discussion by using strategic backcasting as a tool to describe their long-term targets and derive necessary measures. These corporate “milestones” need to be prepared and pro-actively realised within a corridor that is formed by external “crossroad" decisions on the different levels of energy and climate policy. A case study clarifies the presented strategic backcasting approach for local utilities. It also highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the method.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolai Herrmann, 2011. "Regional Energy 2050: A sustainability-oriented strategic backcasting methodology for local utilities," Books, Rainer Hampp Verlag, edition 1, number 9783866186026.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:rhbook:9783866186026

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    More about this item


    strategic backcasting; utilities; energy; sustainable development. future studies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Y4 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Dissertations


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