Future energy services: Empowering local communities and citizens

Kirsi Hyytinen, Marja Toivonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this paper is to examine the future prospects of innovative services linked to sustainable energy systems. The paper aims to narrow the research gap linked to foresight in services by examining services in the area of sustainable energy systems - one of the "grand challenges" today. Service perspective is examined in the context of socio-technical transition and linked to the bottom-up and top-down social processes that foster sustainability. The foresight method applied is trend analysis.Two groups of trends were identified: the trends driven by technological development and the trends focussing on societal, managerial and consumer issues. The former consists of renewable energy sources, hybrid solutions, smart grids and smart energy markets. The latter involves distributed energy production, demand response, optimisation of sustainability and the role of energy as an opportunity and as service. The study reveals that energy is increasingly understood as a comprehensive and tailor-made service solution for communities and individual households. Consumers will enter the energy market as active participants; it raises the need for many types of services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)349-364
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • empowerment
    • trend analysis
    • service innovations
    • future energy services
    • social innovations
    • socio-technical transition
    • sustainable energy


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