Promoting a local transition: the case of renewable energy use in a new district

Nina Wessberg, Johanna Kohl, Mikko Dufva

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The aim of this Policy Brief is to describe how the performance and the drivers and barriers of an innovation system can be explored in a workshop process with actors from both public and private sectors. Specifically, we describe a process where the participants discuss and plan the use of renewable energy in a new district. Based on the analysis of the workshop, the brief describes challenges in the adoption of renewable energy solutions in new districts. The study is a part of SUSER project, funded by TEKES Green Growth programme. The workshop was arranged around a planning process of a new district called Isokuusi in Vuores area in Tampere in Finland. A full-day workshop for different city and energy related actors was arranged at 9th of April 2013 in Tampere. The workshop had two goals: to list preferable energy options for Isokuusi in general and a part of Isokuusi called Harjanne in particular and to identify carriers and barriers in implementing the identified energy options. The discussion in the workshop was organised around the questions: What are the energy solutions? How are the energy solutions implemented and by whom? What are the carriers and barriers of the energy solution? The workshop produced suggestions for energy solutions for these two areas as well as insights on the implementation, actors, carriers and barriers. The workshop results highlighted the need for an energy solution for the whole area, the need for a clarification of roles, importance of collaboration and an iterative process. The workshop also highlighted the following challenges for policy: 1) Enhance sustainability education, especially professional training of city planners, architects and property operators in renewable energy applications. 2) Develop routines in public-private collaboration; e.g. workshops as described in this policy brief could be used as a transition arena where knowledge is shared. 3) Name the process owner of the renewable energy development process, who is responsible for the renewable energy development as a whole in the city. 4) Reduce the investment risk in renewable energy solutions for districts; e.g. the city would guarantee the loan or other substitution models. 5) Develop renewable energy service business and its value network as well as new business models. The brief describes the workshop process and how the system innovation functions can be used in identifying and analysing the main challenges of creating a system transition. The workshop formed a platform where relevant actors can discuss and create a shared vision. This jointly created vision speed of implementation. The main policy recommendation is to increase similar structured participatory interventions in issues where a systemic change is needed. Such an intervention, e.g. the described inclusive workshop will help in enhancing knowledge diffusion, supporting the creation of a value network and identifying the investor and process owner in a socio-technical transition process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesPolicy Brief: Innovaatiotutkimus


    • systemic change
    • socio-technical systems
    • multi-level perspectives
    • innovation system functions
    • renewable energy
    • energy efficiency
    • housing


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