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I'll be back!: Finding the external barriers to commercialize a renewable technology - the second time around
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The global problems of climate change, by the emissions of CO2 have over the past decenniums, led to a development of new innovations of renewable energy technologies, with the goal to phase out fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Many forms of renewable energy have already solved part of the energy consumption problems, but there are still large energy intensive industries that rely heavily on fossil fuels. One possible renewable product that could phase out fossil fuels in these industries is the black pellet, which is a processed bioenergy product. If commercialized, the black pellet could change major parts of the industry, thus making it a radical innovation.


One alternative to produce the black pellet is by using the torrefaction technology. The torrefaction technology has a historical record of many failed introductions. The step from pilot production to full scale commercialization is problematic in many ways, especially for a smaller developer. This study is focusing on the external commercialization problems for a radical innovation, the product black pellet and the technology torrefaction. The thesis aim to understand which these external barriers are for a torrefaction developer in Sweden and to answer our research question:


What is the industry specific external barrier for a new entry-firm to commercialize black pellet with torrefaction technology?”


The theoretical framework is structured in two parts. The first one has a broad focus of theories regarding external barriers for commercialization of radical innovations, with a focus on small- and medium size enterprises. The second part focuses on general effects of industry structure and these two parts are combined in a conceptual theoretical framework. The findings in the study are based on empirical data collected through a total of six interviews with a supplier of torrefaction and black pellet, potential customers and market experts in Sweden.


The study’s analysis combines the theoretical and empirical data together with the industrial chapter, to create an understanding of the external barriers to commercialize black pellet with torrefaction technology. From the analysis we have understood many barriers, which could be summarized in four main barriers; lack of credibility, political incitements, strategic leadership and the costs of commercialization.


The answer to our research question, regarding the industry specific external barrier within the case of torrefaction and black pellet, is that black pellet and especially the torrefaction technology suffers from a lack of credibility by the actors in the market. From this answer, we have contributed with extended theoretical insights, that failures by previous actors create an external barrier for the current and future actors in their commercialization of a new technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 102 p.
Keyword [en]
Commercialization, External barriers, Credibility, Innovation, New technology development, Sustainability, Renewable fuels, Black pellet, Torrefaction
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121343OAI: diva2:932126
Educational program
Study Programme in Business Administration and Economics
Available from: 2016-08-25 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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