Oulu Business School
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The project Legitimation of newness and its impact on the EU agenda for change (LNETN), with over four million euros’ budget, belongs to the Innovative Training Networks of EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. The University of Oulu in Finland, the Aalborg University in Denmark, the Halmstad University in Sweden, and the University of Glasgow in Scotland form the project consortium. Moreover, several associated industrial stakeholder partners are also involved, including Bittium and Nokia in Finland.
Altogether fifteen early-stage researcher positions are offered by the project, of which the University of Oulu hosts four. One of these positions is being held by Rashid Sadeghian Dehkordi. His research concerns how new, innovative business models emerge and are legitimated within smart energy ecosystems, requiring both intended and unintended changes in managerial, environmental, and social processes, procedures, and work practices.
Rashid received his MSc in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) from the University of Tehran, Iran, and his BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.
In my research, I study how new, innovative businesses will develop in the context of smart energy. With a research focus on the challenges of legitimation of newness, my work addresses the emergence of suitable business models in smart energy ecosystems. It reveals new ways to explain how organizing forms and practices evolve, become legitimated, and impact organizations, markets, and society.
Although smart energy grids are enabled by such next-generation technologies as wireless 5G solutions, envisioning their impact and realizing their full potential is broader than only a technological question. Many of us may think of unattainable futuristic cities, where autonomous electric cars would fly above the ground, based on the vision of a high-tech metropolis that science fiction movies have presented to us. However, even smart cities and autonomous electric cars towards that vision are just individual aspects of smart energy.
Smart energy is generally defined as the process of using intelligent devices for energy efficiency. It focuses on powerful, sustainable, and renewable energy sources that promote eco-friendliness while driving down costs at the same time.
Smart energy is seen as a critical driver for the low carbonizing of society and sustainability development goals. About 80% of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming result from the production and consumption of energy. In 2021, global energy-related CO2 emissions have been projected to grow by close to 5% as the demand for coal, oil, and gas rebounds.
Along with the progress of new energy-related activities and interactions, there seems to be uncertainty in business models to identify, explore and grasp new opportunities. Although smart energy has been a research topic at least for a decade already, it can be basically seen only as a starting point.
Particularly, many business model elements are still unclear in the changing energy ecosystem, considering the relationships, roles, and benefits of the involved stakeholders. The existing business models are adequate to examine challenges faced by single companies but less suited to analyzing the interdependent nature of the growth and success of all parties in the evolving ecosystem.
The developments present an exciting opportunity for both energy companies and consumers. For example, peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity trading promotes the growth of a new type of energy actor who consumes, produces, and shares energy with other actors in a shared ecosystem. As another example, energy-as-a-service (EaaS) will benefit consumers through advanced technology but also provide companies a possibility for various other offerings than only the supply of energy.
In my current case study, I am working on sustainable business models for electric vehicles. I am examining how innovative business models would help overcome legitimacy challenges in the electric vehicles’ ecosystem.
My research supervisors include Petri Ahokangas of the University of Oulu, Natasha Evers of the Halmstad University, and Seppo Yrjölä of Nokia.
Rashid Sadeghian Dehkordi