"Life After Coal": Renewable Energy Impacts on SME Conduct

Goncalo F. Estupendo, Fernando Ferreira, Kannan Govindan*, Ricardo J. C. Correia, Leandro Pereira, Ieva Meidute-Kavaliauskiene


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In recent years, increasing resource consumption worldwide has alarmed experts. This problem contributes to the need for more ecological solutions and processes including the use of renewable energies, which reduces organizations’ environmental impact. To find ways to improve new green solutions and process integration, researchers need to study and measure these innovation effects, especially on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, evaluating renewable energy impacts on SMEs is not as easy as would first appear. This challenge can be addressed by developing an analysis model to mitigate the limitations of recent studies and, concurrently, deal with this complex subjective issue. In this article, the combined use of cognitive mapping and the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) technique facilitated the generation of a complete, transparent, and informed model that can help managers make better decisions in this context. Specifically, grounded in intensive group work sessions with renewable energy specialists, the results address some of the limitations of more generic models and include a multicriteria analysis system that provides guidelines for renewable energy management practices, with the potential to improve SME performance. To enable a fuller interpretation of the decision problem in question, the most important indicators were identified and the cause-and-effect relationships between these criteria were analyzed. The findings were validated by the panel members and a member of the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association. The advantages and limitations of the proposed model are also discussed.

TidsskriftIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Udgave nummer10
Sider (fra-til)3571-3586
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023

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