The energy sector as a whole is gradually moving towards a distributed model. Consumers independently build local energy sources for their own needs and direct excess electricity to the general network. According to some estimates, by 2025, 20% of all electricity will be supplied to the global network from local installations, and by 2030 this figure will grow to 30% (Schwieters, 2021). The solar industry, on the contrary, is striving for centralization. Solar stations are large-scale fields of powerful solar panels extending for several kilometers. The desire for “gigantization” has its advantages: one large plant provides electricity from renewable sources to a large number of consumers. However, this approach has also led to several difficulties. This is especially noticeable in the VUCA world, where eco-entrepreneurs are in an uncertain position. It is necessary to consider that the solar industry is also in a particular crisis of solutions that needs to be overcome.
At first glance, the construction of solar parks is logical, but the stations “seal” gigantic territories due to their scale. Countries like Saudi Arabia have a desert at their disposal, and this is one conversation, but in the case of China or India, the picture changes. These states could use the areas occupied by solar power plants much more rationally. The solution may be an approach with the placement of solar panels on the roofs of houses and other urban buildings.
It will be possible not to spend money on the construction of heavy metal structures for solar modules, plus there is an opportunity to save on cable since it does not need to be pulled to the substation. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), in the USA in 2018, businesses are equipping their retail and office areas with solar panels, and their total capacity has already exceeded 2.5 GW (Solar Means Business, 2019). Thus, Chronar is putting into operation a 60-kilowatt station on the roof of its headquarters in New Jersey; and Apple has entered into a partnership agreement with Daini Denryoku to install more than 300 solar systems on the roof of an office building in Japan and will generate 18,000 MWh annually (Apple, 2019).
Speaking about the current situation in the context of a pandemic, there has been a serious change in trends in the industry. The crisis has affected investments, jobs, and overall growth indicators (SEIA, 2021). In addition, at the moment in the United States, various laws are being promoted to Congress, namely clean energy, which can significantly affect the situation. However, at the moment it remains in a rather unstable state (SEIA, 2022). Thus, it becomes evident that for VUCA eco-entrepreneurs, the situation in the solar industry becomes an opportunity to find alternative solutions. That is why it is necessary to use the uncertainty, ambiguity, and instability of today’s world to benefit from alternative methods of doing business.
The Characteristics, Skills, and Attitudes of Eco-Entrepreneur
It is necessary to understand that eco-entrepreneurs should pay attention to the general aspects of their activities in the solar industry. They must increase the quality of life without worsening environmental deterioration or jeopardizing future generations’ resource demands. Furthermore, the relationship between industrial growth and environmental deterioration must be removed by lowering the material, energy, and intensity of existing economic operations (Hoogendoorn et al., 2019). Eco-entrepreneurs should work to encourage a shift in consumption patterns toward goods and services that are less energy and material intensive while maintaining a high quality of life. They should consider using life cycle thinking, which takes into account the effects of all phases of the manufacturing and consuming process. Another essential consideration is to avoid the rebound effect, which occurs when increases in utilization offset efficiency improvements.
With the traditional approach, a long-term strategy is built, and a detailed calendar plan is developed with frequent meetings, meetings, and coordination of actions. With the Agile approach, there is a constant product transformation to meet the consumer’s changing needs and a quick solution to problems during meetings appointed as necessary (Hoogendoorn et al., 2019). Global competence is defined as a multidimensional ability that includes the following skills: studying global and intercultural issues, understanding, and appreciating different worldviews and points of view, and interacting successfully and respectfully with others (Roomi et al., 2021). Eco-efficiency is a management concept that pushes companies to look for ways to enhance the environment while still increasing profits. It focuses on business prospects, allowing companies to become more environmentally conscious while increasing profits (Kummitha, 2020). It is an essential commercial contribution to the development of sustainable societies. It is achieved by providing reasonably priced goods and services that meet human requirements and improve quality of life while gradually lowering environmental effects and resource intensity over the life cycle to a level that is at least equal to the earth’s projected carrying capacity.
Thus, considering eco-entrepreneurship in the solar industry, it is necessary to understand the current global situation. When evaluating various characteristics, it is important to look for alternative ways that will bring alternative energy sources to the primary plan. An important quality of an entrepreneur is a vision that allows them to notice original solutions. It is associated with the ability to focus business activities on productive areas of activity. It is also necessary to pay attention to understanding, which is reflected in the form of empathy, healthy curiosity, and a desire to solve new challenges originally. In the solar industry, it is necessary to use many workarounds that will make people pay attention to this type of energy.
Apple. (2019). Apple now globally powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Web.
Hoogendoorn, B., van der Zwan, P., & Thurik, R. (2019). Sustainable entrepreneurship: The role of perceived barriers and risk. Journal of Business Ethics, 157(4), 1133–1154.
Kummitha, H. R. (2020). Eco-Entrepreneurs organizational attitude towards sustainable community ecotourism development. The Central European Journal of Tourism and Regional Development, 12(1), 85–101. Web.
Roomi, M. A., Saiz-Alvarez, J. M., & Coduras, A. (2021). Measuring sustainable entrepreneurship and Eco-Innovation: A methodological proposal for the global entrepreneurship monitor (GEM). Sustainability, 13(7), 4056.
Schwieters, N. (2021). A different energy future where energy transformation is leading us (14th ed.). PWC.
SEIA. (2021). COVID-19 impacts on the U.S. solar industry. Solar Energy Industries Association. Web.
SEIA. (2022). Earth day 2022: America’s clean energy progress under threat. Solar Energy Industries Association. Web.
Solar Means Business. (2019). U.S. businesses and top global brands are making historic investments in solar energy. Solar Energy Industries Association. Web.