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Business model translation—The case of spreading a business model for solar energy

Ahlgren Ode, Kajsa, Lagerstedt Wadin, Jessica
Renewable energy 2019 v.133 pp. 23-31
case studies, climate change, consumers (people), econometric models, issues and policy, new markets, ownership, solar collectors, solar energy, California, Netherlands
Distributed solar photovoltaic systems are considered an important renewable energy source for meeting renewable energy targets and mitigating climate change. In several markets, emerging firms have established new business models to offer residential customers solar panel systems. In California, the third-party ownership business model has been successfully established during the last decade, and is currently spreading to other markets. Through a longitudinal case study, this paper explores how a startup firm in the Netherlands set up the third-party ownership business model on the Dutch market. The case shows that the process of bringing a business model to a new market is not sufficiently understood as a process of diffusion. Alternatively, it is a process of business model translation, in which the actors involved play a central role in adapting and successfully establishing the business model in a new market. The results have implications for both practitioners and policy makers, as well as the emerging literature on business models for sustainability.