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university of tampere: faculty of management: research: research programmes: energy policy research group:
Faculty of ManagementUniversity of TampereFaculty of Management
Energy Policy Research Group

Research projects

Transition to a resource efficient and climate neutral electricity system (EL-TRAN funded by the Strategic Research Council 2015-17, 3.2Me)

Project director: Prof. Pami Aalto

The main objective of this University of Tampere led consortium is to develop a roadmap for Finland’s transition to a more resource efficient and climate neutral electricity system. Because the electricity system is an increasingly critical infrastructure binding together different groups and functions of the society, its transformation generates several policy problems. To resolve these problems our specific objectives are to:

1. Ensure strong, systematic input from the key actors and stakeholders into our work

2. Consider the major interests in resource efficiency and climate neutrality vis-à-vis the further interests held by various public sector, energy business and NGO actors, seeking a common ground

3. Consider the wider context of interests driving energy policies on the global and EU levels and in Finland’s neighbourhood

4. Examine individual solutions vis-à-vis resource efficiency and climate neutrality, including the development of relevant renewable resources

5. Consider the policy problems ensuing from a shift to renewable resources such as security of supply, reliability, back-up capacity and storage

6. Weigh the resource efficiency gains of automation in energy use and near zero discharge building codes from the point of view of the construction industry and citizens

7. Scrutinise the resource efficiency opportunities of flexibility in energy use, ‘smart’ operation of electricity networks and vehicle-to-grid technologies, of energy islands and local or nearby micro-grids, heat pumps and other local solutions

8. Model the mutual dependencies of the  individual solutions in order to build an overall model of what type of an electricity system Finland’s energy transition requires, how to operate it and how to ensure it can realise the set of Finnish interests in an optimal way

9. Foresee future trends affecting the Finnish solutions

10. Develop requirements for Finnish energy policy actors and stakeholders to push through the transition.

Our interdisciplinary methodology builds on an actor-structure analysis informed by structuration theory. We examine each solution against the structure of constraints and opportunities within which actors need to make choices. Specific methods yielding material on actors and stakeholders include workshops, Q methodological experiments, opinion surveys and content analysis of documents. We use case studies and modelling based on qualitative and quantitative material to probe different solutions.


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