Governance of Energy System Transition: Analytical Framework and Empirical Cases in Europe and Beyond

Totti Könnölä, Javier Carrillo-Hermosilla, Torsti Loikkanen, Robert van der Have

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Task 1 of the GoReNEST project presented an analytical comprehensive framework of the system transition approach. In spite of that the system transition approach has some commonalities with innovation and energy systems and policies of Nordic countries, only few studies have applied this approach in Nordic countries. Accordingly the objective of Task 1 is to present this approach in detail and consider its wider application potential in order to support the transition towards a sustainable energy system in the future. The attention is paid also to the contribution of Nordic countries to the global transition towards sustainable energy system and the business opportunities from emerging global energy technology markets. Task 2 and Task 3 of the GoReNEST project build much on the system transition framework presented in Task 1. The energy research in the Nordic countries is extensive and, besides technological alternatives, different economic and social aspects have been analysed in many studies. Hence, in analysing the potential use of system transition approach, it is important to know whether, in which ways and how far the different elements and dimensions related to this approach have already been examined in the Nordic energy research. Accordingly Task 2 of the GoReNEST project considers Nordic energy research vis-à-vis different elements, categories and topics of the system transitions frame-work and assesses the potential of this research to contribute to the governance of Nordic energy system transition and policy-planning. Governance and funding functions and models are an essential part of the transition framework. Hence, within the sys-tem transition framework, Task 3 of the GoReNEST project analyses such governance and funding models as well as the practices and accumulated experiences of these models especially in order to be able to assess their utilisation in the development of the Nordic energy system transition. Moreover Task 3 explores the recent advances in R&D&I governance and funding models. The conclusions of Task 3 are as follows: Energy system transition is a complex techno-economic and social long-term change process in which governance efforts can play an important role. On a basis of presented empirical cases the interplay between different governance modes and arenas is crucial. An important aspect of governance for system transition is cooperation and a mutual engagement of public and private actors and stakeholders ('co-ordination mode' of governance). However, due to the multi-level nature of system transition, a mixture of modes can also be very effective. For example, at the local level, the 'competition mode' may yield valuable outcomes due to the stronger incentives for local stakeholders to engage in a competitive process, and awareness of local circumstances and 'fitting' of techno-logical options. In conclusion, different governance and funding models with their practices and experiences can play an important role in the transition, but even more important may be the combined use of different modes that contribute to the development of the Nordic energy system transition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages50
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7195-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Working Papers


    • energy systems
    • energy policy
    • Nordic countries
    • transitions


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