How could SMEs take advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to improve their resilience during energy transition?

juillet 2022
Apprendre et Innover
Ingénierie & Outils numériques
Communications avec actes dans un congrès international
Auteurs : Elodie Pillon (LINEACT), M'Hammed Sahnoun (LINEACT)
Conférence : Greening of Industry Network, 5 juillet 2022

Energy plays a major role in the economic development of any economy. It is no longer necessary to demonstrate that an energy crisis affects directly and indirectly all areas of the economic system (Jancovici, 2012) but also the environmental and societal sphere. Renewable energy is becoming one of the key factors for a sustainable society (Buinocore et al., 2019). However, compared to fossil energy that is abundant and cheap, renewable energy is still far from being used universally and remains scarce and expensive (Furfari, 2022). It is why in 2019, fossil fuels still accounted for 84% of the world's primary energy consumption in the world (Buinocore et al., 2019), despite political and regulatory pressure for energy transition. In addition, most of the renewable energy is located in developed countries (Spillias et al., 2020). Furthermore, the renewable energy industry faces a lack of investments (Reyers et al., 2020) and a low level of R&D in this sector (Sonter et al., 2020). In this regard, the development of sustainable energy will be governed mainly by the appropriate use of traditional energy. However, it seems unlikely that this energy transition will take place without a shock that will not only affect the economy but also organizations. Actually, SMEs are the most vulnerable organizations in any economy and have to face several challenges during and after chocks, notably because of an unexpected variation on the consumer behavior, disruption of the supply chain or government-imposed regulations (Thukral, 2021). Moreover, as highlights the Covid-19 pandemic, resilience strategies require several actions such as coordination, good relationships (among all stakeholders), comprehensive network, recognition of risks and opportunities or timely and scalable intervention. Based on the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, the last example of the new worldwide crisis that may occur in the future, and on the modeling of the behavior of the economic, environmental and societal situation, this paper aims to define the actions to be prioritized to foster the resilience of SMEs face to energy and ecological transitions.