"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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)3571-3586
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Analytical models
  • Biological system modeling
  • Cause-and-effect dynamics
  • cognitive mapping
  • Companies
  • Decision making
  • decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL)
  • Economics
  • renewable energies
  • Renewable energy sources
  • small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • Sustainable development


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