Nordic H2 energy foresight: complementary contribution of expert views and formal analyses

Annele Eerola, Torsti Loikkanen, Birte Holst-Jørgensen, Per Dannemand Andersen, E. Anders Eriksson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


The paper discusses the design and methodological challenges of the ongoing Nordic H2 Energy Foresight. The objective of the foresight exercise is to illustrate prospects of hydrogen energy technologies, applications and markets, and to analyse perceivable implications in the Nordic context up to 2030. The entire value chain (production, distribution, storage, and utilisation), as well as the required infrastructure, is examined. The aim is to provide decision support for companies and research institutes in defining R&D priorities and to assist governmental decision-makers in making effective framework policies for introduction of hydrogen energy. The foresight exercise also provides a means for developing Nordic networks to gain critical mass in wider international contexts. The overall intention is to contribute to the strategic intelligence of the Nordic knowledge region in issues related to well-being and sustainable developments. The foresight project was launched in January 2003 and it is expected to run until June 2005. It is a joint effort of five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) and it is co-funded by the Nordic Energy Research Programme, the Nordic Innovation Centre and a number of Nordic companies and research organisations. The project partners represent 17 Nordic organisations, including R&D institutes, energy companies, industry and public associations. Interaction between research, industry and government, and combination of judgemental and formal procedures, are essential features of the Nordic H2 Energy Foresight. The foresight process includes a series of pre-structured interactive workshops (scenario workshop, vision workshop, technology roadmapping workshop, and action workshop), supported by systems analysis and assessment of technical developments (modelling of the Nordic hydrogen energy markets, expert interviews, technical calculations, etc.). A common website was constructed to link the project partners and others interested in the topic (see The results will be disseminated and critically examined in the context of Nordic and international conferences. The methodological challenges of the foresight process are related to selection of proper tools for capturing the relevant knowledge and viewpoints, and to successful integration of the various pieces of information provided by a wide range of actors with various interests and backgrounds. The dynamic model of shared knowledge creation (Nonaka, 1994; Nonaka & Takeutchi, 1995) provides a general-level theoretical framework for the design and conceptualisation of the process. The final choices are affected by practical constrains as well. This paper examines the contribution of the interactive workshops and the analytic work by the project core partners in the light of the dynamic model of shared knowledge creation. In particular, attention is paid to the ways in which expert knowledge has been externalised and combined with other relevant knowledge, the ways in which the process has contributed to new knowledge creation, and the possibilities of using the resulting new knowledge in the context of R&D, strategy work and framework policies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Technology Foresight, Forecasting & Assessment Methods
PublisherInsitute of Prospective Technology Studies (IPTS)
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEU-US Scientific Seminar: New Technology Foresight, Forecasting and Assessment Methods - Sevilla, Spain
Duration: 13 May 200414 May 2014


ConferenceEU-US Scientific Seminar: New Technology Foresight, Forecasting and Assessment Methods


  • hydrogen energy
  • technology foresight
  • technology roadmapping
  • shared knowledge creation


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