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Energy service companies in China: The role of social networks and trust

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  • Kostka, Genia
  • Shin, Kyoung

Abstract

China's energy-service companies (ESCOs) have developed only modestly despite favorable political and market conditions. We argue that with sophisticated market institutions still evolving in China, trust-based relations between ESCOs and energy customers are essential for successful implementation of energy efficiency projects. Chinese ESCOs, who are predominantly small and private enterprises, perform poorly in terms of trust-building because they are disembedded from local business, social, and political networks. We conclude that in the current institutional setting, the ESCO model based on market relations has serious limitations and is unlikely to lead to large-scale implementation of energy efficiency projects in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Kostka, Genia & Shin, Kyoung, 2011. "Energy service companies in China: The role of social networks and trust," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 168, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:168
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Inklaar, Robert & Koetter, Michael & Noth, Felix, 2012. "Who's afraid of big bad banks? Bank competition, SME, and industry growth," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 197, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    2. Dietmar Harhoff & Elisabeth Mueller & John Reenen, 2014. "What are the Channels for Technology Sourcing? Panel Data Evidence from German Companies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 204-224, March.
    3. Gonzalez-Salazar, Miguel Angel & Venturini, Mauro & Poganietz, Witold-Roger & Finkenrath, Matthias & Kirsten, Trevor & Acevedo, Helmer & Spina, Pier Ruggero, 2016. "Development of a technology roadmap for bioenergy exploitation including biofuels, waste-to-energy and power generation & CHP," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 338-352.
    4. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth & Sandner, Philipp, 2012. "What makes Chinese firms productive? Learning from indigenous and foreign sources of knowledge," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 196, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    5. Garbuzova, Maria & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Russia’s Emerging ESCO Market: Prospects and Barriers for Energy Efficiency Investments," FCN Working Papers 6/2012, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Sep 2012.
    6. Kostka, Genia & Moslener, Ulf & Andreas, Jan G., 2011. "Barriers to energy efficiency improvement: Empirical evidence from small-and-medium sized enterprises in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 178, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    7. Libman, Alexander & Kozlov, Vladimir & Schultz, André, 2012. "Roving bandits in action: Outside option and governmental predation in autocracies," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 190, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    8. Yu, Xiaofan, 2011. "A spatial interpretation of the persistency of China's provincial inequality," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 171, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    9. Alexander Libman & Vladimir Kozlov & André Schultz, 2012. "Roving Bandits in Action: Outside Option and Governmental Predation in Autocracies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 526-562, November.
    10. Böing, Philipp & Müller, Elisabeth, 2012. "Technological Capabilities of Chinese Enterprises: Who is Going to Compete Abroad?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62081, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy policies; energy service companies (ESCO); social networks; trust; China;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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