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Energies 2017, 10(8), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081172

Identification of Financing Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises by Integrating the Fuzzy Delphi and Fuzzy DEMATEL Approaches

School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
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Received: 25 June 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract

Energy efficiency is one of the most practical ways for China to simultaneously tackle environmental issues and achieve sustainable development. However, the issue of inadequate capital inflows is a bottleneck in energy efficiency projects, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study focuses on the complicated financial barriers to effectively promoting such projects for SMEs. A hybrid framework was proposed to recognize the most obvious financing barriers under uncertain circumstances. Potential barriers were collected firstly to build an index system, including the five dimensions of “policy and regulation”, “economic market”, “financial institutions”, “behavior” and “economic non-market”. Then, this paper introduced a novel way to combine a fuzzy Delphi and a fuzzy decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The fuzzy Delphi method was applied to extract significant factors from potential barriers. To analyze a series of causal relationships, the fuzzy DEMATEL approach was employed. Moreover, triangular fuzzy numbers (TFNs) are used firstly to express vague linguistic ratings in the proposed framework. Based on the experts’ opinions, seventeen significant factors were chosen to assemble a final evaluation system. Eleven key barriers were identified by analyzing cause-effect relations, including “slight fiscal incentives”, “inadequate energy market trading mechanisms”, “a low priority of energy saving issues”, etc. The key barriers affiliated with “market” and “policy and regulation” are much more important than the others. Except for B11 and B53, the others are the original factors. Finally, we listed relevant suggested measures to help SMEs, government departments and financial institutions overcome the key barriers. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy efficiency; financing barriers; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); fuzzy Delphi method; fuzzy decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method energy efficiency; financing barriers; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); fuzzy Delphi method; fuzzy decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method
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Dong, J.; Huo, H. Identification of Financing Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises by Integrating the Fuzzy Delphi and Fuzzy DEMATEL Approaches. Energies 2017, 10, 1172.

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