• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 7 (2021)

Assessment of the Innovative Potential of Alternative Energy in the Context of the Transition to the Circular Economy

Assessment of the Innovative Potential of Alternative Energy in the Context of the Transition to the Circular Economy

Title: Assessment of the Innovative Potential of Alternative Energy in the Context of the Transition to the Circular Economy
Andrey Zaytsev, Nikolay Dmitriev, Dmitriy Rodionov, Tengiz Magradze

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Cite this article as:
Zaytsev, A., Dmitriev, N., Rodionov, D., Magradze, T., 2021. Assessment of the Innovative Potential of Alternative Energy in the Context of the Transition to the Circular Economy. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(7), pp. 1328-1338

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Andrey Zaytsev Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University, St.Petersburg, Polytechnicheskaya, 29, 195251,
Nikolay Dmitriev Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University, St.Petersburg, Polytechnicheskaya, 29, 195251,
Dmitriy Rodionov Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University, St.Petersburg, Polytechnicheskaya, 29, 195251,
Tengiz Magradze Georgian Technical University, 77, M. Kostava Street, Tbilisi 0171, Georgia
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Abstract
Assessment of the Innovative Potential of Alternative Energy in the Context of the Transition to the Circular Economy

The purpose of this article is to consider the innovative potential of alternative energy at the level of an economic entity in the context of increasing the global significance of the transition to the circular economy. The authors consider the conceptual provisions of the circular economy and the place of alternative energy in it, as well as justify the possibility of increasing the level of innovation through the implementation of "clean" energy development programs. As an assessment of the innovative potential of alternative energy at the level of an economic entity, the authors propose an integral model that takes into account the specified parameters of innovation. To adapt the idea, the authors chose the enterprise management level, since it is at this level that the greatest innovative activity which can affect the diffusion of "circular" innovations is manifested. The article proposes to analyze the economic entities who implement recycling for the further production of energy resources. For the parametric integral assessment, the weighting coefficients of the key performance indicators were set. The analysis of the number of companies revealed a strong correlation between the integral indicator of innovation potential and the level of circular energy efficiency.

Alternative energy; Circular economy; Innovative potential; Innovative energy; Innovative development; Renewable energy

Introduction

The trends of the 21st century are directly related to the extensive growth of energy resource consumption, primarily in industrial production, which consumes more than 80% of the world's energy output (Zhiltsov et al., 2020). However, this practice causes serious problems with the quality of the resources used as well as their impact on sustainable development. It is necessary to be critical of the dominant paradigm of science and technology, the vision of which does not always correspond to the maintenance of global sustainability (Azzopardi, 2017). Thus, sustainable development becomes the main direction of the strategic functioning of the macroeconomic space, the achievement of which is associated with the creation of an appropriate innovation potential (Bermejo, 2014).

Over the past two years, the global community has been discussing the threats to and opportunities for energy development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the emergence of new negative externalities that pose barriers to achieving global sustainable development. It is necessary to highlight the current problems, which include a sharp increase in household waste and other non-recyclable resources. Their use in the energy context has not yet been fully considered in the scientific and practical environments and is ignored in practice by many developing countries (Chen, 2020; Sarkodie and Owusu, 2020). At the same time, innovative development can give significant impetus to the formation of a circular economy and provide a comprehensive approach to the transformation of the ecological and economic space of the territories, creating conditions for reducing not only the volume of waste, but also the negative consequences of traditional energy. The functioning of innovative activities of the business sector based on the principles of sustainable development will lead to the creation of the necessary tools for eco-efficiency and methods of economic management aimed at solving the socio-economic problems of our time in the long term (Witjes and Lozano, 2016).

From the authors’ point of view, innovation potential is a significant indicator of economic activity, since it determines the availability of opportunities to modernize and create innovative infrastructure through the large-scale technological renewal of individual entities and entire sectors of the national economy (Rudskaia et al., 2017; Zaborovskaya et al., 2019). Alternative energy, as a high-tech industry, is able to create a sufficient level of innovation potential, and its focus on matching the closed-cycle economy will allow to extract additional energy efficiency from secondary raw materials waste (Murray et al., 2017; Chernysheva et al., 2019).

To date, the adaptive cycles of ecosystems have been facing serious challenges, which can only be overcome through innovative means. Circular models should take into account the energy needs of society, and therefore consider ways to obtain "clean" energy that does not create negative socio-environmental externalities for the state and society. Thus, the key goal of this article is to consider the innovative potential of alternative energy at the level of an economic entity in the context of the transition to the circular economy. To achieve this goal, the proposal is to determine the current innovative state of alternative energy; analyze the conceptual provisions of the circular economy; consider the place of alternative energy in circular models; and build a model for assessing the innovative potential of alternative energy enterprises. The solution of the set tasks will allow us to justify the growth of the level of innovation through the implementation of "clean" energy development programs and to identify the key determinants of the construction of the circular economic system. 

Conclusion

As a result of this research, a comprehensive analysis of alternative energy in the context of the transition to the circular economy was carried out, which allowed us to develop the theoretical and practical material of the concept of the circular economy, which is currently actively popularized in the scientific and practical environment. In considering the main areas of research regarding this issue, the authors determined the current state of alternative energy and its prospects for development, worked out the issues of the circular economy and the possibility of its acceleration, and also reflected on the place of alternative energy sources in circular models, which opens the way for expanded research in this field. Based on the analysis of the perspectives in the scientific community, a methodology, the essence of which comprised building an integrated model that allows to assess the innovative potential of alternative energy at the level of an economic entity, was proposed. The innovative potential of enterprises allows us to talk about the development of "clean" ways of obtaining energy resources. It has been proven that such a practice is in the interests of society and the state, since it can solve not only regional problems, but also threatening externalities on a global scale.

Acknowledgement

        The research is partially funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation under the strategic academic leadership program 'Priority 2030' (Agreement 075-15-2021-1333 dated 30.09.2021).

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