FRENCH COMPANIES’ STRATEGIES IN SERVICE INNOVATION AS AN ADAPTATION TO GLOBAL INSTITUTIONAL CHANGES IN RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE
Bartel, Florie (2018)
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Global changes in the energy sector are indicating a profound evolution towards the use of more sustainable, cleaner sources of energy, mainly due to the public and institutional awareness. This new attention drawn on these issues has driven the different international institutions to take initiatives in order to promote an increasing role of renewable and low-carbon energies in their own energy mix. However, renewable sources are by nature variable and non-predictable. Through technological improvements, energy storage became possible and this launched a revolution. Therefore, it is essential for energy companies to keep some control over the changes which will occur if they want to stay competitive, as they need to create new services to keep their customers: as they will be soon able to create and store their own energy, a new relationship is likely to be set up between the traditional supplier and the user of the network. To keep its customer and create some added-value, the energy company, from production to distribution levels, will have to create new and innovative services. The present study analyses French companies’ strategies in service innovation as an adaptation to global institutional changes in renewable energy storage. Results are based on the analysis of qualitative data collected from 8 semi-structured interviews with French energy company employees focusing on innovative services in renewable energy storage. The study suggests that if global institution emphasise on the need of renewable energy storage, the energy companies still have not the compulsory support, although they are developing innovative services. At last, different opinions have emerged regarding the role of technology in service innovation.