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Accelerating renewable energy electrification and rural economic development with an innovative business model: A case study in China

Li, Changsheng, Shen, Bo
Energy policy 2019 v.127 pp. 280-286
business enterprises, case studies, crop production, econometric models, economic development, greenhouses, income, issues and policy, solar energy, China
The rural developing world faces a significant challenge in achieving the dual objectives of economic growth and decarbonization. An innovative business model tested in China that combines the use of solar photovoltaics (PVs) and agricultural greenhouses offers a solution to meeting this challenge and can have the potential for global deployment. However, the traditional PV-greenhouse business model is facing growing difficulties with shrinking revenues due to declining feed-in-tariffs. This study discusses a new business model concept based on a case in which a local Chinese PV company has transformed its business model from a crop production business to a service platform. The study concludes that business model innovation for expanding PV-greenhouse functions can help PV agricultural companies effectively adapt their businesses to policy changes and that new supporting policies are needed in promoting PV-greenhouse integration, adopting financial supporting measures, and facilitating grid integration of PV.