Technological capabilities development model in Chinese energy service companies

Peng Qiu, Breno Nunes, Kirit Vaidya, Geerten Van De Kaa, Mark Greeven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the energy service companies (ESCOs) in China from the perspective of technological capability (TC) development. The conventional capability development model of manufacturing in emerging economies has been adapted to examine the four dimensions of TC (investment, production, linkage and innovation) through a qualitative analysis of multiple case studies. Small and medium-sized private ESCOs can perform well based on investment and production capabilities to develop energy management software competence. Large state-owned ESCOs can develop more advanced linkage and innovation capabilities and serve large-scale businesses with more specialist services. For small and medium-sized ESCOs, competitiveness, customers and related business strategy are the primary drivers of TC development. These drivers are essential for large ESCOs, but government support and pressure are also important. The framework developed can be used to research ESCOs and other service providers in other developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129551
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Chinese ESCOs
  • Energy efficiency
  • Technological capability


Dive into the research topics of 'Technological capabilities development model in Chinese energy service companies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this