Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen and Robert Wuebker
Chapter 12: How do Business Models Impact Financial Performance of Renewable Energy Firms?
Moritz Loock 1 INTRODUCTION Market observation indicates that financial performance of renewable energy firms varies. By the same token, analyst reports and forecasts predict performance differences (for example, Deutsche Bank, 2009; OppenheimResearch, 2009). Yet there is limited empirical evidence suitable to explain such differences. However, financing is one of the most important bottlenecks for the diffusion of renewable energy (UNEP et al., 2008); by nature, investors are curious about firm performance, which highlights the relevance of research being done in that area. In line with current literature, we assume that different business models would explain differences in firm performance. In recent years, academics have proposed business models for analyzing firms (Chesbrough and Rosenbloom, 2002; Magretta, 2002; Hedman and Kalling, 2003; Morris et al., 2005; Osterwalder et al., 2005; Schweizer, 2005; Casadesus-Masanell and Ricart, 2007) and firm performance (Weill et al., 2005; Zott and Amit, 2007, 2008). Scholars also point to the high relevance of business model choice for matters of investor relations and fundraising (Shanley, 2004). A business model has been defined as ‘a mediator between technology and economic value creation’ (Chesbrough and Rosenbloom, 2002: 532). This commonly covers three aspects: a meaningful value proposition for customers, a suitable delivery configuration to fulfill the value proposition and a value-creating logic; hence the revenue model (ibid.: 533; for example, Morris et al., 2005: 729–31; Zott and Amit, 2008: 5). Hereby, scholars often refer to business models within a context of innovation and change (Mitchell and Coles, 2003; Yip, 2004; Chesbrough,...
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