Several studies have investigated the barriers to industrial energy efficiency, but few have focused on the most effective means (drivers) to promote the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices. In this respect, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have been completely overlooked despite interesting consequences for their overall energy consumption and their concurrent low levels of adoption of energy-efficiency measures. Starting from insights garnered from the extant literature on the drivers of industrial energy efficiency, this paper presents an empirical investigation of 71 Italian manufacturing SMEs through a multiple case-study approach. The research highlights the importance of allowances or public financing for energy efficiency interventions, as well as the importance of external pressures such as increases in energy prices and the introduction or increasing of fees on both resources consumed and on emissions of pollutants. Moreover, enterprises look favourably upon energy-efficient technologies which are able to provide long-term benefits, evidence of their willingness to adopt seemingly radical solutions when these are able to improve their long-term competitiveness. Other drivers considered as strategic for increasing energy efficiency are the presence within the company of people with great ambition and entrepreneurial mind and the management sensitivity to the issue. This paper also provides a preliminary analysis of how factors such as firm size, sector, supply chain complexity, and innovation characteristics are or might be able to significantly affect drivers toward the adoption of energy-efficient technologies.

Exploring drivers for energy efficiency within small- and medium-sized enterprises: first evidences from Italian manufacturing enterprises

CAGNO, ENRICO;TRIANNI, ANDREA
2013-01-01

Abstract

Several studies have investigated the barriers to industrial energy efficiency, but few have focused on the most effective means (drivers) to promote the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices. In this respect, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have been completely overlooked despite interesting consequences for their overall energy consumption and their concurrent low levels of adoption of energy-efficiency measures. Starting from insights garnered from the extant literature on the drivers of industrial energy efficiency, this paper presents an empirical investigation of 71 Italian manufacturing SMEs through a multiple case-study approach. The research highlights the importance of allowances or public financing for energy efficiency interventions, as well as the importance of external pressures such as increases in energy prices and the introduction or increasing of fees on both resources consumed and on emissions of pollutants. Moreover, enterprises look favourably upon energy-efficient technologies which are able to provide long-term benefits, evidence of their willingness to adopt seemingly radical solutions when these are able to improve their long-term competitiveness. Other drivers considered as strategic for increasing energy efficiency are the presence within the company of people with great ambition and entrepreneurial mind and the management sensitivity to the issue. This paper also provides a preliminary analysis of how factors such as firm size, sector, supply chain complexity, and innovation characteristics are or might be able to significantly affect drivers toward the adoption of energy-efficient technologies.
Industrial energy efficiency, Drivers, Small and medium-sized enterprises
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/685827
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