Tool Developed by Wittenborg will Calculate Return on Investment for Companies that Invest in Green Energy
The economic tool developed by Wittenborg University to help SME’s determine their return on investment if they choose to engage in renewable energy projects is ready and will be rolled out to SME’s from this week.
Wittenborg is one of the Dutch partners in the GREAT-project, an EU-funded initiative aimed at encouraging communities and SME’s in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands to develop technological solutions for Smart Grid, Renewable Energy and Distributive Generation.
The University recently led small-scale research among SME’s in Belgium and the Netherlands to determine what are the obstacles and barriers preventing SME’s from adopting sustainable solutions for renewable energy. On Friday the results were presented to the international conference "New Trends in Sustainable Business and Consumption", organized by the Association for Quality and Innovation for Sustainable Business in Bucharest which was hosted by the Bucharest University of Economic Studies’ Faculty of Business and Tourism. The presentation was done by Dr Saskia Harkema and Dr Mirjam Leloux from Wittenborg and Florentin Popescu from Bucharest University.
Participating SME's indicated one of the main reasons why they would adopt and implement "green energy" is to improve their company's image. Tax advantages and attracting new customers was also cited as good reasons to invest.
The majority of SME’s agreed that the investment in the long term is worth more than the initial costs in the short term. All of them indicated they wanted more information environmentally friendly plans that could have a positive impact on the performance of their organizations.
Return on investment is the most important indicator to determine the level of possible investments that should be made. Most companies define that in terms of pay-out time, instead of effectiveness and efficacy. Companies want to see results within 5 years, sometimes even after 1 year.
An economic tool – in the form of spreadsheets – was also developed to help SME’s to estimate the return on investment in a sustainable energy project. The tool will be distributed to more than 50 SME’s from this week to evaluate it and give feedback.
The research concluded that a straightforward implementation of renewable energy options is not easy, due to various barriers and obstacles, including the lack of financial tools to optimize specific scenarios. “It is obvious that the success of all the initiatives taken largely depends on market acceptance and adoption. As further research, we have developed a tool which aims to support SME’s in their decision-making process on renewable energy applications in the expectation that this will accelerate that process.”
by Anesca Smith