Change in Business Ecosystems for Local Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency - Better Energy Services for Consumers (USE)

* The project has ended *

The final seminar of the project was arranged in collaboration with the parliamentary "Energiaremontti" group 23 January 2019. Following the link below you can access the brief presentations on project's main findings: The presentations from final seminar (23.1.2019).

The full final report can be accessed here:


It is increasingly acknowledged that production technologies alone will not meet the sustainability challenge. Attention must be paid to the factors which influence consumption at the individual, household and community level. Large-scale socio-technical changes are likely to require simultaneous development of organisations, technologies, service-based approaches and multiple network relationships that better address issues, such as consumers’ energy use and consumers as prosumers. This  consortium aims to create an understanding of the transition in the area of sustainable energy by taking an integrated approach to examining developments regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency. Specific attention is paid to local service ecosystems influencing consumer energy use and production through energy-efficiency and renewable energy solutions, and the emergence and diffusion of service-based innovations for integrated energy services in the context of buildings and districts. As a starting point, the project uses the idea of business ecosystems and applies it to the context that extends actor-networks from businesses to consumers and public actors. The SYKE sub-project focuses on the development of public policy and alternative-to-policy approaches in this area.


The consortium incorporates three main objectives:

  • to generate novel insights into the emerging ecosystem in the field of sustainable energy production, energy-efficiency and renewable energy solutions: what kind of service and business ecosystems are emerging and what particular characteristics they have and how they involve consumers, particularly from the perspective of transitions. (VTT & SYKE sub-projects)
  • to pilot how the generation, implementation and scaling up of new innovative service solutions as well as the acceleration of business ecosystems could be enhanced in the sector, where such structures are missing. (VTT sub-project)
  • to examine what kind of policy and governance frameworks and instruments would support the emergence of new ecosystems promoting a transition towards new energy solutions. (SYKE sub-project)

The project addresses the following research questions:

  1. How can we theoretically and empirically describe the emerging renewable and energy efficiency ecosystem in the field of sustainable housing, integrating energy-efficiency and renewable energy solutions?
  2. How the generation, acceleration, implementation and scaling up of new innovative service solutions can be enhanced with the support of new type of evaluation approaches to promote the transitions of the energy system?
  3. What kind of governance frameworks and instruments would support the emergence of new ecosystems promoting a transition towards integrated renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions to consumers?

Particular attention is paid to service-based innovation. It has been acknowledged that the problem in increasing the utilization of sustainable energy sources relates to the absence of new integrated service solutions in the energy sector (e.g. Ministry of Employment and Economy, 2012). That is interlinked to the underdevelopment of the ecosystems in sustainable energy solutions.

Work Packages

WP1  Conceptualisation of Ecosystem in energy efficiency and renewable energy services for consumers (VTT & SYKE)

  • Task 1.1. Ecosystems phenomena and dynamics of ecosystems
  • Task 1.2. Synthesis & dissemination: emerging ecosystem and governance implications

WP2 Understanding “policy” as a context for developing ecosystems (SYKE & VTT)

  • Task 2.1. The impact of policy mixes for emerging ecosystems and innovation 
  • Task 2.2. The development of energy efficiency in buildings in relation to policy and industrial actions
  • Task 2.3 Stakeholder and consumer views on policy options

WP3 Local ecosystems in sustainable energy (VTT)

  • Task 3.1. Case-studies linking to emerging ecosystems.
  • Task 3.2. To promote and accelerate the generation and implementation of local ecosystems with the support of societal embedding
  • Task 3.3. Future oriented impact assessment and complex systemic change in future energy efficiency and renewable energy service ecosystems

WP4  Practice-based approaches and international comparison (SYKE & VTT)

  • Task 4.1. International comparison of the generation, implementation and scaling up of local ecosystems
  • Task 4.2 Examination of alternative-to-policy or policy-complementing approaches in relation to the emergence of ecosystems



  • Lazarevic, D., Kivimaa, P., Lukkarinen, J., Kangas, H-L. 2017. Merging ecosystems and value creation in sustainability transitions: an illustration from the integrated energy services domain. International Sustainability Transitions, 18-21 June 2017. Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Lazarevic, D., and Kivimaa, P. 2017 Conceptualizing Ecosystem Emergence and Evolution: insights for innovation policy from innovation ecosystem and transition literatures. EU-SPRI 2017, 7-9 June 2017. Vienna, Austria.
  • Åkerman, M., Halonen, M., Wessberg, N. 2017. How consumers face novel hybrid energy options in housing? Lessons from the new detached houses construction cases in Finland. Paper presented in NESS Conference 6-8th June 2017
  • Kangas, H-L., Lazarevic, D., Kivimaa, P. 2016. Transition towards a zero-carbon building sector: Energy. service companies in the construction business ecosystem. 39th International Association for Energy Economics Conference, Energy: Expectations and Uncertainty, June 19-22 2016. Bergen, Norway.


Blog posts

Research Team

SYKE, Environmental Policy Programme

  • Dr. Paula Kivimaa, Senior Researcher (WP2 leader)
  • Dr. Hanna-Liisa Kangas, Senior Researcher
  • Dr. David Lazarevic, Senior Researcher
  • Jani Lukkarinen, Researcher

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

  • Dr. Laura Sokka, Senior Scientist  (Consortium Leader, WP4 leader)
  • Dr. Mika Nieminen, Principal Scientist (WP1 leader)
  • Dr. Maria Åkerman, Principal Scientist (WP3 leader)
  • Markus Mäkinen, Research Trainee


Published 2015-01-09 at 16:35, updated 2020-06-29 at 18:28