Renewable Energy in International Business
Valtteri Kaartemo, University of Turku, Finland; Masar B.V., the Netherlands
Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
Renewable energy sources are continually restored by nature and derived directly (e.g., thermal and photovoltaics) or indirectly (e.g., wind and hydro) from the sun, or from other natural mechanisms of the environment (e.g., geothermal and tidal energy). Renewable
energy excludes resources derived from fossil fuels, waste products from fossil sources, and waste products from inorganic sources (Ellabban et al., 2014). As a result, renewable energy is to a large extent climate neutral and resource saving.
In 2016, around 300 billion US dollars were invested in renewable energy worldwide (Bloomberg, 2017). Major multinational enterprises (MNEs) have announced their transition towards renewable energy sources (Hardy, 2016). Renewable energy has the potential to be a fascinating topic to study for international business (IB) scholars. Most of the production, particularly solar photovoltaics, is highly scalable and currently concentrated in China (Kaartemo, 2016). However, resources and demand for renewable energy investments are global. Moreover, renewables are highly influenced by international institutions (e.g. the Paris Climate Change Agreement was signed by 194 nations in 2015). Yet, these agreements have to be locally implemented, and countries have different capacities and institutional regulatory environments for attracting (and sometimes distracting) renewable energy investments, and to drive environmental innovations (Gonzalez-Perez, 2016).
Despite the need for understanding renewable energy business as a complex global phenomenon, there is a general lack of research in addressing environmental challenges from an IB perspective. The extant research on renewable energy markets is mostly studied within country boundaries, without interest in studying the cross-border dynamics. These studies focus on the development of current status, public policies and future potential of individual countries. Only few studies have been published on how IB practices or countries’ cross-border institutional development and geopolitics influence the investments, competitiveness, and MNE interaction in the era of ‘energy transition’ (Kolk, 2015, 2016).
This is unfortunate. Studies on renewable energy can open up new perspectives to how international opportunities are discovered and created (Mainela et al., 2014). In addition, as renewable energy attracts impact investors (Bugg-Levine and Emerson, 2011), financiers who make investments with the intention to generate social or environmental impact alongside a financial return, studies in renewable energy may challenge the current monetary oriented focus in international finance research (Ockenden and Ye Zou, 2016). Furthermore, being heavily influenced by national decision-making and local stakeholders, studies on renewable energy can critically depict institutional work – how institutions are created, maintained, and disrupted (Lawrence et al., 2011), and how international markets are created. Instead of focusing primarily on local transformations, IB research could provide new insights on the global developments of renewable energy markets. Finally, the linkage between renewable energy and IB scholarship can further advance our understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the thematic area of renewable energy, itself.
For this special issue, we seek conceptual, theoretical and empirical work that debates issues linking renewable energy research and IB research. We encourage scholars to utilise different theoretical perspectives and apply a wide variety of rigorous methodological approaches. We are looking for studies identifying and examining common issues in renewable energy across countries as well as highlighting industry and country-specific issues. Manuscripts may also cover wider perspectives as long as the papers are in line with the broad theme of the special issue.
Guiding questions may include, but are not restricted to:
• What is the role of national and international institutions in the creation and shaping of renewable energy markets?
• How do differences in institutional environments enable or constrain the development of indigenous renewable energy markets?
• How do relevant international networks differ from one form of renewable energy to another?
• How effective has been the activism of the global civil society and international non-governmental organisations to promote a critical view on man-made climate change?
• What is the importance of local networks in deploying renewable energy in an MNE’s target market?
• How does positive news around adopting of renewable energy influence CSR and corporate sustainability practices internationally?
• How does corporate sustainability and CSR influence adoption of renewable energy in different target markets?
• How can research on international entrepreneurship advance insight on renewable energy adoption?
• Which incentives need to be put in place for renewable energy adopting in new international ventures?
• What are the investment criteria of international renewable energy financiers?
• What is the role of target country image in attracting funding for renewable energy projects?
• What are the dark sides of international renewable energy?
• What are the local environmental and societal consequences of the excessive use of land by renewable energy MNEs?
• To what extent is renewable energy a solution also for developing countries as well as the global poor?
Following the aim and mission of critical perspectives on international business (cpoib) (Roberts and Dörrenbächer, 2016), submissions must promote dialogue and new thinking in the broad field of IB. Potential contributors are encouraged to creatively and critically question the hegemony of transnational corporations, managerial orthodoxy and the dominant academic discourse.
The special issue is open to various formats and styles of presentation. We encourage potential contributors to review previous issues of cpoib to see the breadth of perspectives and contributions.
• Authors should refer to the cpoib website and the instructions on submitting a paper. For author guidelines and more information see: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/cpoib.htm
• Submissions to cpoib are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/cpoib
• All papers will be subjected to double-blind peer review and papers will be reviewed in accordance with cpoib guidelines.
• The guest editors welcome informal enquiries related to proposed topics.
• Submission deadline: 28 February 2018
• Approximate date of publication: Issue 1, 2019
Dr. Valtteri Kaartemo
University of Turku, Finland
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Head of Research
Masar B.V., the Netherlands
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Prof. Dr. Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez
Full Professor of Management
Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
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Bugg-Levine, A. and Emerson, J. (2011), “Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money while Making a Difference”, Innovations, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 9–18.
Bloomberg (2017) “Clean Energy Investment End of Year 2016”. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, available at: https://about.bnef.com/clean-energy-investment/.
Ellabban, O., Abu-rub, H. and Blaabjerg, F. (2014), “Renewable energy resources : Current status , future prospects and their enabling technology”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 39, pp. 748–764.
Gonzalez-Perez, M.A. (2016), “Climate change and the 2030 corporate agenda for sustainable development”, Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Vol. 19, pp. 1–6.
Hardy, Q. (2016), “Google Says It Will Run Entirely on Renewable Energy in 2017”, The New York Times, available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/technology/google-says-it-will-run-entirely-on-renewable-energy-in-2017.html?_r=0.
Kaartemo, V. (2016), “Creation and shapping of the global solar photovoltaic (PV) market”, Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Vol. 19, pp. 229–250.
Kolk, A. (2015), “The role of international business in clean technology transfer and development”, Climate Policy, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 170–176.
Kolk, A. (2016), “The social responsibility of international business: From ethics and the environment to CSR and sustainable development”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 23–34.
Lawrence, T., Suddaby, R. and Leca, B. (2011), “Institutional Work: Refocusing Institutional Studies of Organization”, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 52–58.
Mainela, T., Puhakka, V. and Servais, P. (2014), “The Concept of International Opportunity in International Entrepreneurship: A Review and a Research Agenda”, International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 105–129.
Ockenden, S. and Ye Zou, S. (2016), What Enables Effective International Climate Finance in the Context of Development Co-Operation?, OECD Publishing, Paris.
Roberts, J. and Dörrenbächer, C. (2016), “Renewing the call for critical perspectives on international business”, Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 2–21.