Adoption and Use of Low-Carbon Technologies

Lessons from 100 Finnish Pilot Studies, Field Experiments and Demonstrations

Eva Heiskanen, Eila Kaarina Hyvönen, Senja Laakso, Päivi Laitila, Kaisa Johanna Matschoss, Irmeli Mikkonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Experimentation is critical for the deployment of low-carbon technologies. New solutions need to be selected and adapted to their contexts of use, and users need to learn new skills. Society as a whole needs to create new modes of production, consumption and governance. We investigated how local pilot projects, demonstrations and trials of low-carbon technologies promote learning in Finnish society, where the government has made a commitment to a culture of experimentation. We drew on a database of 100 pilot projects and experiments and 15 detailed case studies. We identified several types of learning, beyond the formal evaluation of “what works where and when”: pilot projects served to inspire, to create commitment and to develop networks. We also investigated how lessons learned are transferred to other sites and into societal knowledge. We contribute by conceptualizing different forms of learning and transfer—particularly situated and embodied forms—alongside more techno-scientific ones. While highlighting this form of learning, we also note that it is not particularly strong in acknowledging challenges faced in experimentation. We argue that there is scope for more systematic evaluation, alongside more situated forms of learning and sharing. We also pinpoint tensions between these two forms of learning that need to be addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number847
JournalSustainability
Volume9
Issue number5
Number of pages20
ISSN2071-1050
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science

Cite this

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Adoption and Use of Low-Carbon Technologies : Lessons from 100 Finnish Pilot Studies, Field Experiments and Demonstrations. / Heiskanen, Eva; Hyvönen, Eila Kaarina; Laakso, Senja; Laitila, Päivi; Matschoss, Kaisa Johanna; Mikkonen, Irmeli.

In: Sustainability, Vol. 9, No. 5, 847, 18.05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - Mikkonen, Irmeli

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AB - Experimentation is critical for the deployment of low-carbon technologies. New solutions need to be selected and adapted to their contexts of use, and users need to learn new skills. Society as a whole needs to create new modes of production, consumption and governance. We investigated how local pilot projects, demonstrations and trials of low-carbon technologies promote learning in Finnish society, where the government has made a commitment to a culture of experimentation. We drew on a database of 100 pilot projects and experiments and 15 detailed case studies. We identified several types of learning, beyond the formal evaluation of “what works where and when”: pilot projects served to inspire, to create commitment and to develop networks. We also investigated how lessons learned are transferred to other sites and into societal knowledge. We contribute by conceptualizing different forms of learning and transfer—particularly situated and embodied forms—alongside more techno-scientific ones. While highlighting this form of learning, we also note that it is not particularly strong in acknowledging challenges faced in experimentation. We argue that there is scope for more systematic evaluation, alongside more situated forms of learning and sharing. We also pinpoint tensions between these two forms of learning that need to be addressed.

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