Home Barriers to the energy cooperation and solutions Information Provision Perspective barriers
When talking of information provision barriers, it must be distinguished between information regarding potential cooperation partners, information exchange, which is needed to establish and run energy cooperation, and information about external factors.
These barriers are also connected to knowledge and trust issues, which have been discussed previously.
Provision of Energy data
The provision of the company’s energy data to identify complementary energy demands and excesses is a barrier linked to information provision and trust. Such data are needed to establish successful cooperation projects and keep it running.
For the company providing the data the provision means that others, for example competitors, may estimate the production costs or volume. Sensitive business information includes “trade secrets, acquisition plans, financial data and supplier and customer information, among other possibilities”. The availability of such data is not always given, since many companies do not have detailed metering infrastructure installed.
Missing collaboration history
The reason is that there has never been interest into these data due to missing business and social links between companies. Especially joint energy projects have no tradition in individually emerged enterprises.
Disturbed communication channels
Communication is part of social barriers but also information barriers since a well-functioning communication enables successful information exchange. It is very important from the development of ideas to the implementation of definite measures to the operation phase. In case responsibilities are not clearly defined, information can get lost due to incomplete information chains or scarce communication skills by key actors.
Overlooking of benefits
The quantification of direct and indirect positive effects is often uncertain. In many companies there is no detailed monitoring of energy consumption and energy costs so a potential change in consumption seems ungrounded at first, especially when energy costs are not very high compared to other costs.
This means energy matters and costs are not a part of the strategic company plans. Non-energy benefits associated with an investment rarely influence the calculations preceding the decision making of energy efficiency investments.
Insufficient information on available technologies and measures
Companies are reluctant to implement technologies and measures that are still in development, as this implies risk to the production process. For proven technologies and measures, companies, or more specifically, the people responsible for utilities, lack information to compare the applicability and the costs and benefits.
Insufficient information on financing and funding
The lack of knowledge about financing mechanisms by financial institutions has been identified as one of the most important barriers for investments in energy efficiency projects throughout Europe. Workshops with representatives of different industries found that opaque funding and subsidy schemes are another barrier. It is likely that due to this non-transparency many energy cooperation solutions are not even taken into account by decision-makers of companies.
Access to External competences
Since energy investments and connected topics such as energy audits, subsidy schemes, financing mechanisms for renewable energies are not part of the core business, external experts must be consulted.
In some cases, it might be difficult to get information about the availability of such experts. Furthermore, the trust worthiness of such external information can be problematic, since it is difficult for the companies to spot inconsistencies outside their core competences.
Are you interested and do you want to know which possibilities your park has for energy cooperation?