Browsing by Subject "energiamurros"

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  • Seppälä, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This master’s thesis addresses the role of intermediary organizations in sustainability transitions, specifically in the field of energy. The thesis discusses how intermediary organizations can diffuse and support the development of novel sustainable socio-technical niche-innovations through experiments. Theoretically, this thesis draws mostly upon the sustainability transition literature, particularly strategic niche management theory. Empirically, this thesis focuses on a case study of joint procurement of solar power plants that was implemented as a part of “New and innovative low-carbon business generates competitive advantage for companies and municipalities” (Välke) project in South-western Päijänne during 2016. Välke is a sub-project of Carbon-neutral municipalities (HINKU) and therefore the case study of this thesis links to other similar experiments in the HINKU network. The material of the thesis was collected through 9 semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders involved in the experiment and by using pre-existing secondary material. The material was analysed by qualitative content analysis using an analytical framework adopted from a previous study. The findings show that intermediaries support niche development by aggregating, circulating and applying lessons learned between and within joint procurement experiments. This was done by producing and disseminating documents, but more importantly through personal contact between intermediaries. The network of intermediaries showed hierarchical features as the coordinator of HINKU, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), maintained the repositories of the learned lessons and also formed a link between municipal intermediaries involved with the experiments. Also, during the experiments the more experienced higher profile intermediaries – mostly SYKE – provided assistance to lower profile municipal intermediaries. This support included providing knowledge, but also raising the confidence of lower profile intermediaries. Following, the lower profile intermediaries provided similar assistance to the participants of the experiments. However, the intermediary roles were not stable as lower level intermediaries were adopting some of the roles of the higher profile intermediaries after gaining experience during the experimentation. In order to support the Finnish solar niche, the intermediaries went beyond mere aggregating, circulating and applying lessons between and within experiments. They were actively initiating new experiments in adjusted formsin new geographical locations and advocating the niche. This was partially linked to the strategic nature of the intermediaries, as they were established to catalyse activities that would lead to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. However, this active support for a particular socio-technical innovation contradicted the pursuit of intermediaries to be viewed as neutral and credible actors. Partially as a consequence – but also because of the phase of solar niche development in Finland and lack of resource and interest – SYKE chose to withdraw from future joint procurements of solar power plants for private actors. However, SYKE was planning to utilize the governance innovation of joint procurements in order to support other niche-innovations with sustainability gains. The findings show that intermediaries can accelerate energy transitions, at least on a regional scale. They emphasize the importance of cooperation and personal contact between intermediaries and the ability of intermediaries to utilize governance innovations. Also, the findings support stronger inclusion of intermediaries in governance frameworks to hasten energy transition and achieve wider sustainability goals. However, the thesis shows that particularly public intermediary organizations have to work under unclear mandates.
  • Moilanen, Fanni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Sustainability transitions literature addresses societal challenges relating to sustainability and offers alternative visions as solutions. Transition of the energy system is central in mitigating climate change and attaining sustainability. District heating is a fundamental part of the Finnish energy system, and the majority of heat is produced with fossil fuels. This case study investigates the low temperature and two-way district heating experiment of Skanssi in Turku. Transitions evolve from local experiments i.e. niche innovations, which propose visions of sustainable alternatives. The implementation and diffusion of these alternatives is challenged by various hindrances, such as institutionalized practices. The aim of the study is to investigate the district heating experiment of Skanssi by utilizing sustainability transition literature. In addition, the study examines the institutions that hampered the implementation of the local niche innovation. The research data was collected by interviewing the central actors related to the development and implementation of the local district heating experiment. The interview data was analyzed using theory-guided content analysis. Internet based material of the case was utilized as secondary data. The local district heating experiment was initiated by the regional energy company in cooperation with the city of Turku. The experiment was expected to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and to provide decentralized heat production in the Skanssi area. The implementation of the experiment had halted in 2018, and a two-way heating system had not been realized. Slow construction of the houses in the area hindered the implementation of the experiment. In addition various regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive institutions effected the planning and implementation of the experiment. The lack of regulation concerning two-way heating systems increased uncertainty around the experiment. Furthermore, the experiment did not suit the practices, roles and interests of both the inhabitants and housing developers. The findings show that two-way district heating systems are still highly uncommon, and thus their implementation is inert and uncertain. After the data collection of this study there have been changes in the district heat sector, which may have influenced the development of the experiment in Skanssi. Since local experiments are essential in advancing the energy transition, it would be important to continue implementation of the local district heating experiment.
  • Söyrinki, Siiri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract Variable electricity production poses challenges for the electricity grid, where demand and production must be balanced at all times. Transition to variable electricity production requires new solutions for grid flexibility. Electricity consumption has traditionally been an inflexible component in the electricity system but technological development enables demand side flexibility. Demand response (DR) is demand side measure, where energy consumption is shifted due to an external incentive. DR has multiple benefits such as improving reliability with high integration of variable energy production and cutting emissions during peak production. Despite years of modelling and analysing DR, there is lack of experience with commercial end-users in real-life context. In recent years, transmission system operator Fingrid has conducted experiments with stakeholders to find new demand response resources outside the traditional industrial end-users. The market models and services have not yet matured and therefore actors experiment to find solutions to resolve demand response barriers. The difficulty of scaling up sustainable innovations is a well-known challenge in energy transition research. In strategic niche management theory experiments are seen as tools for sustainable transition. This qualitative case study examines how piloting demand response in grocery store promotes energy transition. I chose the case of Virtual Service Environment (VIRPA-B) experiment, where participants tested DR in two grocery stores. The data were gathered in eight interviews with stakeholders and experts and through literature review. With theoretical framework I analysed, how the experiment contributes to implementation of demand response through expectations, learning and the ways pilot was scaled up after the experiment. Thesis sheds light to stakeholders’ role in implementing new technology and business model in real-life context. The results indicate that DR does not disturb the functions of the grocery store. The technology is matured, but the instalment practises have not been standardized. The greatest barrier for upscaling seems to be the regulations of the electricity markets, as they do not encourage end-users to invest in DR. VIRPA-B experiment did not lead to a rapid upscaling. However, lessons scaled up through other projects that support the niche development. For actors experiments are a platform to develop expertise and influence the new business models. To overcome the barriers, more attention should be directed at the synergies between the technologies. In VIRPA-B pilot actors noted benefits with solar panels, energy efficiency and DR. Combining technologies can lead to significant electricity savings. Promoting DR as a part of intelligent building automation system could also help overcome DR barriers. The results of thesis indicate that experiments can produce capabilities that promote energy transition.