To purchase, or not to purchase, renewable electricity A study of decisive factors for increased use of renewable electricity among Swedish SMEs

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: A major challenge of future electricity consumption is the need for it to be renewable to avoiddepletion of natural resources. Swedish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vitalfor increasing demand for renewable electricity (RE) in Sweden, which is desired sinceSweden has set the goal to be completely free from non-renewable electricity by 2040. Theaim of this thesis has therefore been to increase knowledge about the factors related to thepurchasing of RE that Swedish SMEs regard as decisive.To do this, a qualitative study with an abductive approach was undertaken. A literature reviewof earlier studies was carried out and in-depth interviews with eight Swedish RE-purchasing,and non-purchasing, SMEs from two lines of businesses were conducted.This study concluded that the most decisive factors for SMEs are the perceived price of REand altruistic motives of decision-maker(s). Institutional isomorphic change proved to exertsome influence on the probability of RE-purchasing. Additionally, scepticism towards REsuppliersin delivering actual RE seemed to affect the decision and signs were given that firmsize affects the reasoning behind the decision. Interestingly, a general fear of showcasingsustainability undertakings was present due to a perceived risk of increased scrutiny.The major challenges lying ahead therefore seems to be in increasing the demand throughindustry-wide efforts as RE is not made a business case, to convince decision-makers notdriven by altruism and to wider communicate differences as well as lessen the perceivedambiguity of RE.Further research is warranted for the effect of the Swedish legal framework, earliersustainability undertakings and energy intensity on RE-purchasing.

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