Smart Energy Transition Annual Seminar 15.2.2017

Smart Energy Transition Annual seminar 15.2.2017, Aalto University School of Business, Arkadia Building, Valio Hall E-341, 3rd Floor, Lapuankatu 2, Helsinki

Smart Energy Transition’s annual seminar presented the project’s findings and future goals: How Finland is best able to benefit from energy transition utilizing innovations, technologies and policy-making.


8:30 – 9:00     Coffee

9:00 – 9:05     Welcome

Governing transitions

9:05 – 10:00   Niki Frantzeskaki, Erasmus University Rotterdam: Governance of socio-technical change through transition arenas: experiences from the Netherlands and other countries. (presentation) (video part I) (video part II)
Comment: Sampsa Hyysalo, Aalto University. Includes a short introduction to the Transition Arena working model in SET project in 2017. (presentation) (video, from 8:30)

10:00 – 10:55   Chiara Farné Fratini, Phil Johnstone & Paula Kivimaa, Science Policy Research Unit SPRU, University of Sussex: Analysing institutional change and industrial policy in energy disruption – illustrative example of Denmark. (presentation) (video part I) (video part II)
Comment: Janne Hukkinen, University of Helsinki. (video, from 8:00)

Drawing on an extensive literature review and preliminary findings from an interview campaign, this presentation will explore the coevolution of disruptive energy innovations, institutional dynamics and industrial policy, and how these three areas have influenced the evolution of the Danish energy transition over the last three decades. We will first present conceptual issues related to key literatures on disruptive innovation, institutional analysis and industrial policy and outline the conceptual framework that guides the empirical research. Then, we focus on the case of Denmark, highlighting the key factors which have contributed to the successful advancement of the low-carbon transformation of the Danish energy system and its implication for future energy scenarios, with relevance for the Finnish energy transition.

11:00 – 11:55   Jani Lukkarinen, Mikael Hildén & Eeva Primmer, Finnish Environment Institute: Why are there so many policies? Analysing climate change mitigation in Finland. (presentation) (video part I) (video part II)
Comment: Pami Aalto, University of Tampere. (video, from 1:30)

The question of why there are many policies arises inevitably in the field of climate change. Internationally and also nationally there is a large – and constantly growing – number  of policies, but what do they actually do? We explore this by reflecting on why they exist in the first place (which ‘policy niche’ they occupy) and by analyzing what they are expected to do (their role in field of mitigating climate change).  The empirical material is based on the climate change mitigation related policies that Finland has reported to the EU and the UNFCCC, and supplemented with some policies that are significant in terms of substance although they have not been designated as climate policies.

12:00 – 13:00   Lunch at Restaurant Metropol Hietaniemi (self-financed)

New technologies and business models

13:00 – 13:55   Mikko Jalas & Tatu Marttila, Aalto University and Jukka-Pekka Bergman & Tero Ahonen, Lappeenranta University of Technology: Smart energy Finland 2030. Views of Finnish experts on rate, direction and key implications of technology disruption. (presentation) (video part I) (video part II)
Comment: Kari Laasonen, Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering. (presentation) (video, from 3:30) (video, discussion)

Smart Energy Transition refers to a broad change in the ways energy is produced, stored, delivered and used. Parallel to technological change new actors and practices emerge. However, the rate, the direction and the key implications of this change remain debated. In 2016 SET project called Finnish energy experts so share and discuss their interpretations on smart energy transition. The presentation provides an overview on the results and discusses them in relation to other energy scenarios in Finland. We also examine the result in light of broader global megatrends and the drivers which are changing the global conditions and markets of new energy solutions.

14:00 – 14:55   Eva Heiskanen, University of Helsinki: Smart energy transition via experimentation: What have we learned so far? (presentation) (video part I) (video part II)
Comment: Kaisa Lähteenmäki-Smith, Prime Minister’s Office. (presentation) (video, from 1:30)

Experimentation allows companies, cities, real estate developers, transport providers and citizens to explore new ways of living, working and governance in the smart energy transition. We have identified more than 100 pilots, demonstrations and experiments in smart energy ongoing in Finland. These projects help participants develop competencies, network and gain confidence in new ways of producing, procuring, selling, distributing, managing, using and storing energy. In some cases, local experimentation serves as a springboard for wider diffusion of solutions. However, diverse and dispersed experimentation still struggles to answer the (very difficult) questions of “what works when and where”. My presentation opens up some potential ways in which we can learn from experimentation more systematically.

15:00 – 15:55   Miimu Airaksinen, Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT: Demand response and buildings as active elements in energy networks. (presentation) (video)
Comment: Janne Happonen, Fortum. (video, from 20:30) (video, discussion)

15:55 – 16:00  Closing

The event was moderated by Armi Temmes, Aalto University.


In case of inquiries, please contact Allu Pyhälammi:

The event was held in English.


Smart Energy Transition is a research project funded by The Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council. Smart Energy Transition tackles the global disruption of energy markets by creating pathways for Finland to profit from the energy disruption.

Photo: (c) Jussi Hellsten, Visit Helsinki, City of Helsinki.