Toward prospective voluntary agreements: Reflections from a hydrogen foresight project

Totti Könnölä (Corresponding Author), Gregory C. Unruh, Javier Carrillo-Hermosilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


There is substantial interest in promoting the emergence of a hydrogen-based energy economy. If successful, this would represent a policy-led, discontinuous transition away from existing fossil fuel-based systems. Such a move has few precedents and few policy tools exist to manage such a complex and uncertain endeavour. Furthermore, existing hydrocarbon energy systems can be considered Techno-Institutional Complexes (TIC), which have developed through the path dependent co-evolution of physical technologies and social institutions. These complexes have numerous structures that ensure their perpetuation and create important barriers to the implementation of alternatives like hydrogen-based systems. The authors explore the application of prospective voluntary agreements (PVA) as a policy tool/process that can help facilitate a move towards a hydrogen-based economy through foresight and negotiation. From this perspective, we look at the recent case of the Nordic Hydrogen Energy Foresight project for evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Carbon lock-in
  • Environmental voluntary agreement
  • Foresight
  • Hydrogen economy
  • Increasing returns
  • Path dependence


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