System Transition: Concepts and Framework for Analysing Nordic Energy System Research and Governance

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

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    System transitions are complex societal co-evolutionary processes that are typically led by gradual adaptation rather than visionary management or coordination. Still, visionary coordination of policies, regulation, corporate strategies and social learning may overcome some barriers and foster new innovation efforts providing sufficient impetus towards system transition. Building on earlier literature and experiences on system transitions and related research and governance, this paper develops an analytical framework. This framework integrates different transitions phases, levels and dimensions and combines them with the governance functions to provide overarching frames for understanding system transitions. While the framework is developed keeping in mind its application in the Nordic energy system transition research and governance, it may also be applicable in other sectors. For the didactic purposes, the paper applies the framework in the analysis of the three energy sector projects by positioning them in the developed framework. Further in-depth analysis of recent and on-going research and governance efforts may provide a good basis to identify relevant synergies and areas for future developments. Moreover, the use of such an overarching transition framework supports the coordination efforts between many sometimes even controversial efforts in the development of energy systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages43
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7160-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Working Papers


    • energy system transition
    • innovation
    • transition management
    • techno-institutional change


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