Nordic Energy Research within the Framework of Energy System: Task 2 Working Paper of the GoReNEST project

Torsti Loikkanen, Annele Eerola, Tiina Koljonen, Robert Van der Have, Nina Wessberg

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    This working paper is produced for the purposes of the GoReNEST project. The overall aim of the GoReNEST project is to present an analytical system transition framework as a potential tool for supporting the Nordic energy system transition, its governance and related policy-making. The MLP transition management approach was used as a starting point for the analytical framework that was developed in GoReNEST Task 1 (see Könnölä et al., 2008). In GoReNEST Task 2, recent and ongoing Nordic research was examined vis-à-vis the different elements, categories and topics of the system transition framework. This working paper summarizes the results of GoReNEST Task 2. The focus of this working paper is on Nordic research that is intended to support the governance of energy system transition. When assessing the potential of the MLP approach - and the analytical framework developed in GoReNEST Task 1 - it is important to know whether and how far the different elements and dimensions related to this approach have already been examined in Nordic energy research. For the purpose, (a) national level studies of Nordic countries, (b) studies carried out on Nordic level, and, (c) studies carried out with Nordic participation on European and international level, were examined in GoReNEST Task 2 with this aim. This working paper gives a first rough indicative overview of the contribution of these studies, paving the way for more extensive exercises in this respect. Six relevant, partly overlapping research approaches were identified in GoReNEST Task 2: 1) societal embedding of energy innovations, 2) consumer research in energy markets, 3) energy system modelling and scenarios, 4) energy foresight and technology assessment, 5) energy RDT program and policy program evaluations, and 6) innovation studies and energy related new governance research. Each category is briefly described in this working paper, followed by brief presentations of relevant example projects and positioning of their contribution in relevant boxes of the system transition framework (vertically by development levels: landscape, regime, niche, and governance; horizontally by time perspectives: present, short-term, medium-term, and long-term). GoReNEST Task 2 shows that Nordic research encompasses a number of interesting studies and projects in the six relevant areas of research approaches. In the light of the system transition framework, the contribution of these different studies and projects is also relevant for the governance of the energy system transition. Consequently, the existing research competencies in these areas are an important potential for the future research supporting the Nordic energy system transition, and hence it is worth building on these experiences and competencies in Nordic countries. The Nordic research is, however, scattered and fragmented among the six research areas, and the related aspects and dimensions of the systems transition framework. The overview also indicates relatively minor collaboration between relevant research communities, especially between energy system research and innovation system research. This may limit the effectiveness of these research communities in facing the multidisciplinary challenges of energy system transition. The MLP transition management approach and the comprehensive analytical framework of GoReNEST Task 1 offers, however, a potential common framework with the help of which relevant actors and actions can be mobilized around more effective joint-efforts that contribute to the transition towards sustainable energy systems. A systemic research agenda, considering the potential contribution of the various research approaches to the governance of energy system transition, is also needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages66
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7481-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Working Papers


    • Governance of Nordic energy transitions
    • research
    • approaches and methodologies of Nordic energy research
    • support to Nordic energy and climate policy-making


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