BUSINESS MODEL TRANSFORMATION IN THE GERMAN ENERGY SECTOR: KEY BARRIERS AND DRIVERS OF A SMART AND SUSTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS IN PRACTICE
Keywords: barriers, business model transformation, drivers, expert interview study, smart energy, sustainable business models
Abstract. The energy sector in Germany, as in many other countries, is undergoing a major transformation. To achieve the climate targets, numerous measures to implement smart energy and resource efficiency are necessary. Therefore, energy companies are experiencing increasing pressure from politics and society to transform their business areas in a sustainable manner and implement smart and sustainable business models. Consequently, numerous resources are expected to flow into the development and implementation of new business models. But often these efforts remain unsuccessful in practice. There is a large amount of literature on barriers and drivers of smart and sustainable business models in the energy sector. But what are the factors that companies struggle with most when developing and implementing new business models in practice? To answer this question, the results of a systematic literature review were evaluated by conducting semi-structured interviews with experts of the German energy sector. Six categories of transformation barriers were identified: Organizational, Financial, Legal, Partner-Network, Societal and Technological barriers. To overcome these barriers, recommendations for action and key success factors are outlined by the experts interviewed. The interview study validates key barriers and drivers in terms of their significance in practice in the German energy sector and makes recommendations to advance the smart and sustainable transformation of the energy sector.