Municipal utilities ("Stadtwerke") play a central role for the energy transition. On the one hand, they ensure well over half of the supply of electricity, gas and heat in Germany; on the other hand, municipal utilities have a special position in the area of tension between politics, business and private households due to their municipal roots. But with regard to the question of the success of municipal utilities, there is currently still a research gap.
The presented study was jointly prepared by the Wuppertal Institute and BLUBERRIES GmbH. It deals with selected fields of action in which an influence on the business success of newly founded municipal utilities can be assumed. The objectives of re-municipalisation are used as a framework and four specific fields of action are brought to the focus. The study focuses on questions concerning the economic success of newly founded municipal utilities and the achievement of their objectives. We used the classical approach of success factor research. The aim of this study is to formulate initial statements on how the assumed fields of action are and on the measures of success for newly founded municipal utilities.
Cooperation and various forms of collaboration in the start-up stage play a very important role regarding the success of newly established municipal utilities. Newly established municipal utility companies usually attach great importance to sustainable business relationships with local companies, which makes a significant contribution to public value. In particular, well-developed business strategies in the fields of renewable energies, distribution, grid operation, sales and diversification foster the implementation of the corporate objectives with regard to resilience and sustainability. The rather average assessment of the relevance of resilience regarding the development of a smart distribution grid is an indication that the regulatory framework would have to be changed to make investments in this area more attractive.
Based on an online survey, the most important results for the four fields of action (cooperation, digitisation, resilience and social responsibility) that have been taken into focus can be summarised as follows:
On the basis of a larger sample, it would have to be tested in future whether and to what extent the described trends (which result from the online survey) and the explorative hypotheses can be scientifically verified within the framework of a confirmatory research approach.
Kurt Berlo, Christian Herr, Oliver Wagner, Michael Companie:
Explorative Untersuchung zu Erfolgspotentialen bei neugegründeten Stadtwerken
Eine Sondierungsstudie zur kommunalen Energieversorgung - Ergebnisse einer Befragung bei neugegründeten Stadtwerken im Energiebereich
(Wuppertal Report no. 16)