SECTION A: SHORT QUESTIONS:
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS 30 MARKS
Question 1 10 marks Define innovation in the context of energy technology. Provide any two examples each for the following types of innovation: incremental innovation disruptive innovation, radical innovation, revolutionary innovation. NOTE: Do NOT use the examples already provided in the lecture notes.
Question 2 10 marks What do you understand by? Provide any three advantages and any three disadvantages of restructuring from an innovation perspective.
Question 3 10 marks Briefly explain what you understand by “local content requirements” with respect to the energy sector. Identify any three of the main actors that you think play the most critical roles in upgrading the innovation capabilities of indigenous African firms in the energy sector through local content requirements.
SECTION B: ESSAY QUESTIONS:
BOTH QUESTIONS *Approximately 750 words per question 40 MARKS
Question 4 20 marks The “shale revolution” represented a disruption in the world’s oil and gas supply by the United States of America. Other countries, including some in Africa, may also consider pursuing this type of exploration in the oil and gas industries. i.) Describe the four types of “learning” or competence building as they relate to the innovation process in the emerging shale-based oil and gas industry. ii.) You are asked to advise the Minister of Energy in South Africa on a strategy for new oil and gas discoveries in the country, but are required to offer arguments for exploiting either the off-shore Brulpradda gas find near Mossel Bay, or hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of shale in the Karoo. What would be two innovation-based advantages of developing your preferred choice, and two innovation-based disadvantages of the minister adopting your undesirable choice? Provide reasons to justify your advice.
Question 5 20 marks Understanding and monitoring an industry’s evolution over time can help a strategic energy manager assess a firm’s potential competitiveness at various stages of that industry’s lifecyle. Select a given industry that is related to the energy sector (e.g. renewable electricity, fossil-based electricity, oil, gas, automotive, etc.). Sketch a diagram of that industry’s lifecycle. Label the axes clearly. Highlight the various stages of the lifecycle in your sketch. The final stage has several possibilities. Be sure to highlight those in your diagram. In a few sentences, describe what your sketch demonstrates.
SECTION C: CASE STUDY QUESTION: 30 MARKS
Question 6 30 marks Length: Approximately five pages (12 font, 1.5 spacing), use APA Referencing. Select a firm either in the private sector or public sector (i.e. it can be a state-owned enterprise) in South Africa/Africa that is attempting to, or can be considered to be innovative with respect to the energy sector. It need not be an energy firm itself, but it must be one that provides critical auxiliary support for the sector, e.g. legal firms, regulators, banks, R&D organisations, etc.
1. Provide a general overview of your selected firm, and with specific emphasis on its innovation strategy, as it relates to the energy sector.
2. Assess the level of the innovation capabilities that your selected firm has (if it is an energy firm) or addresses (with respect to the energy firms it supports). You may use any one of the categories provided in the course, such as learning OR original equipment, design, and brand manufacturing. Justify your answer.
3. Map out the relevant actors in the National System of Innovation that facilitate or impede the more successful commercialization of innovative energy products and services by your selected firm. Highlight the linkages between such actors that are strong and those that are weak.
4. Reflect on your analyses above, and offer any three ways, grounded in the course concepts, through which your selected firm could contribute to upgrading the overall level of economic development of the country in which it is based. *Clue: How might the firm (as a representative of the average capabilities of firms in a given country) help boost its country of origin from a factor-driven to efficiency-driven or innovation-driven economy? Alternatively, how could such a firm help its country move from a lower income to a lower-middle income, upper-middle income or upper income economy?
Strategic Management of Energy Innovation – assignment questions
This project involves three sections. In section A, there are three short questions, each of 10 marks which are needed to be answered accurately. Section B includes two essay questions each of 20 marks. The word limit for each answer in section B is approximately 750 words. Section C involves a case study in which you have to choose a private or public sector firm in South Africa which can be considered as innovative with respect to the energy sector. The length of the solution should be five pages in 12 font size and 1.5 spacing. Relevant references must be included in APA format.
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