Jump to content

Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

sykefi header valkoinen

Towards a future-oriented “Energiewende”: An anticipatory multi-level approach to the decentralised renewable energy transition (FutWend)

How does the future of decenralized renewable energy look like?
© Photo: Jari Lyytimäki


The project Futwende unpacks decentralized renewable production of energy

Energy systems are in a state of flux. One part of this is the increasing role of decentralized forms of renewable energy production.

The project Futwend examined the causes of changes related to decentralized energy, the roles of actors, mental models, energy and resources policies  and institutions that prevent or enable transitions toward a sustainable future energy economy.

One of the theoretical foundations for the project was the multi-level socio-technological change (so-called Multi-Level Perspective). This framework is used widely in describing societal development, but lacks a clear futures orientation especially in analyzing the alternative future scenarios in different stages of transition. The FutWend project aimed to close this gap.

The project thus employed a future-oriented MLP framework to analyze the transition of Finnish energy sector through 2030 by focusing on three example technologies: Biogas is a potential but as yet little used form of energy production in Finland; geothermal heat pumps have become rapidly more common in recent years; and combustion of wood chips constitutes an already established form of energy production. Empirical studies in SYKE focused mainly on citizen perceptions and media representations.

The consortium members

The responsible leader was professor Petri Tapio at the Finland Futures Research Centre FFRC (University of Turku). The project consortium also included a team of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) led by senior researcher Vilja Varho. The work at SYKE was led by senior researcher Timo Assmuth.

FutWend publications and presentations
with contributiosn by the SYKE team (see FFRC pages for other publications)

Scientific publications

  • Vähäkari Noora, Lauttamäki Ville, Tapio Petri, Ahvenainen Marko, Assmuth Timo, Lyytimäki Jari, Vehmas Jarmo (in print) The future in sustainability transitions - Interlinkages between the multi-level perspective and futures studies. Futures https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2020.102597
  • Mäkelä Marileena, Parkkinen Marjukka, Lyytimäki Jari, Nygrén Nina A. (2020). Futures images of woodchip use as an energy source in Finland. Futures 121: 102571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2020.102571
  • Lyytimäki J. (2020). Environmental journalism in the Nordic countries. In David B. Sachsman, & JoAnn Myer Valenti (Eds.) Routledge handbook of environmental journalism. Routledge, London and New York. pp. 221-233.
  • Vainio A, Pulkka A, Paloniemi R, Varho V, Tapio P (2020). Citizens’ sustainable, future-oriented energy behaviours in energy transition. Journal of Cleaner Production 245: 118801 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118801
  • Rantala S, Toikka A, Pulkka A, Lyytimäki J (2020) Energetic voices on social media? Strategic Niche Management and Finnish Facebook debate on biogas and heat pumps. Energy Research and Social Science 62: 101362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101362
  • Vainio A, Varho V, Tapio P, Pulkka A, Paloniemi R (2019). Citizens’ images of a sustainable energy transition. Energy 183, 606-616 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2019.06.134
  • Lyytimäki J (2019). Burning wet wood: Varieties of non-recognition in energy transitions. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 21(5): 1143-1153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-019-01699-9
    Lyytimäki J., Vikström S., Furman E. (2019) 'Voluntary participation for sustainability transition: experiences from the ‘Commitment to Sustainable Development 2050’ International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 26(1) 25-36. DOI: 10.1080/13504509.2018.1460632
  • Kangas, H-K., Lyytimäki, J., Saarela, S-R. & Primmer, E. (2018) Burning roots: Stakeholder arguments and media representations on the sustainability of tree stump extraction in Finland. Biomass & Bioenergy, 118: 65-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2018.08.006
  • Lyytimäki, J. 2018 ‘Renewable energy in the news: Environmental, economic, policy and technology discussion of biogas’ Sustainable Production and Consumption, 15: 65–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2018.04.004
  • Lyytimäki. J., Nygrén, N.A., Pulkka, A. & Rantala, S. 2018. ’Energy transition looming behind the headlines? Newspaper coverage of biogas production in Finland’ Energy, Sustainability and Society, 8:15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13705-018-0158-z

Other contributions

  • Parkkinen M, Lyytimäki J, Assmuth T, Lauttamäki V, Paloniemi R, Vainio A, Varho V & Winquist E (2019). Miten eroon fossiilimöhkäleestä? Versus-verkkolehti 11.4.2019. https://www.versuslehti.fi/kriittinen-tila/miten-eroon-fossiilimohkaleesta/
  • Lyytimäki J (2019). Öljytty yhteiskunta tarvitsee energiakäänteen. Voima 6/2019, ss. 12-13 . https://hairikot.voima.fi/artikkeli/oljytty-yhteiskunta-tarvitsee-energiakaanteen/
  • Varho V, Vainio A, Paloniemi R, Pulkka A, Tapio P (2018). Citizens’ views on the future of renewable energy. 4th Energy & Society Conference, Exeter, 3.9.2018
    Parkkinen, M., Nygrén, N.A., Mäkelä, M. & Lyytimäki, J. 2018 ‘Woodchips as an Energy Source in Finland: Potential futures’ Presented in Energizing Futures - Sustainable Development and Energy in Transition, Tampere, Finland, 14 June 2018. https://futuresconference2018.wordpress.com/programme/ws/workshops/
  • Pulkka, A., Vainio, A. Paloniemi, R., Varho, V. & Tapio, P. 2018. ’Citizens’ views on the future of decentralized renewable energy’ Presented in Energizing Futures - Sustainable Development and Energy in Transition, Tampere, Finland, 14 June 2018. https://futuresconference2018.wordpress.com/programme/ws/workshops/
  • Varho, V., Paloniemi, R., Vainio, A., Pulkka, A. & Tapio, P. 2018 “Citizens’ views on the future transition towards decentralized renewable energy” Presented at 4th Energy and Society Conference, University of Exeter, UK, September 3rd, 2018.
  • Lyytimäki Jari (2017). Maaseudun tulevaisuus tarvitsee monta jalkaa. Maaseudun Tulevaisuus 5.6.2017, s. 10. [Muokattu versio Luonnonvaralta-blogissa] [In Finnish: Development of the rural future needs several standpoints]
  • Nygrén, N.A., Lyytimäki, J., Rantala, S., Toikka, A., Pulkka A. (2017). Media Representations of Decentralized Renewable Energy - Potentials and Pitfalls of Media as a Data Source for Energy Transition Research. Paper presented at The 13th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS 2017), 6-8th June 2017, Tampere, Finland.
  • Rantala, S. & Paloniemi, R. (2016) Co-evolution of knowledge communities, public policy and governance system in the opening and digitalization of natural resource knowledge: exploring a research agenda. Paper presented at the 3rd Thematic IASC Conference on Knowledge Commons, Paris, 20-22 October 2016.
  • Lyytimäki, J. (2016). Futwend-hanke pohtii kestävän energiamurroksen edellytyksiä. Luonnonvaralta-blogi 10.11.2016. [In Finnish: Futwend-project ponders the prerequisites of sustainable energy transition]
  • Lyytimäki, J. (2016). Renewables from the bottom up. Nature 539(7628): 168 [short comment]

Additional information:

Senior researcher Timo Assmuth (retired)

Head of Unit Riikka Paloniemi

Senior researcher Jari Lyytimäki

Senior researcher Salla Rantala

Published 2016-08-26 at 15:40, updated 2020-09-01 at 16:20

Target group: