STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF POWER PRODUCERS: Implementing international renewable power production growth strategies
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This thesis investigates internationalization motives and methods for electric power producers. Using international business and strategic management literature streams, it focuses on the business dynamics that are driving or hindering internationalization of these firms. Additional focus is placed on firm characteristics and strategies that embody successful internationalization of the power producer. The four articles that comprise this thesis use a variety of methods and data, often combining qualitative and quantitative methods with several diverging data sources in mixed method designs. Article 1 underpinned the financial attractiveness of deploying offshore wind energy in the UK. Two operational projects were selected as cases to utilize five years of empirical data as the foundation for the analysis. Financial viability was subjected to a sensitivity analysis to determine the effects of cost of capital on profitability. Article 2 investigated firms in the Norwegian power sector by mapping out international investment plans and their motivations and barriers for pursuing such activities. Article 3 looked more global in orientation, using six case companies to track their development patterns after choosing internationalization pathways. We focused on their chosen market entry modes and roles of management in internationalization processes. The last article sought to understand how firms assess the potential of foreign markets. After collecting macroeconomic parameters, a model was built to produce a list of the most attractive future markets for hydropower development and operation. The summary chapter of the thesis concludes with a discussion on 5 key findings: 1) companies are motivated, but face many obstacles; 2) the public ownership model restricts growth potential; 3) returning focus to core business results in less new business development; 4) internationalization provides a financial hedge to the market downturn; and 5) fresh capital and new ownership structures are needed to go abroad. Implications are then derived for theory, managers, and policy.