Citizen energy lost in sustainability transitions : Knowledge co-production in a complex governance context

Jani P. Lukkarinen*, Miikka Salo, Maija Faehnle, Heli Saarikoski, Sampsa Hyysalo, Karoliina Auvinen, Satu Lähteenoja, Tatu Marttila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Countries are moving towards renewable energy systems, which creates new requirements and pressures for the established energy policy frameworks. One emerging issue is citizen energy production in community level that has been given a central role also in recent policy reforms in the EU. However, one understudied topic is how the decision-making and action in the existing and potential citizen energy communities connects to broader energy governance. In this paper, we focus on one such type of actor, housing companies in Finland, in which mobilising collective energy action has become a policy priority. We build empirically and methodologically on a facilitated knowledge co-production process utilising mid-range transition arena method to understand the main challenges in engaging citizen energy action in the Finnish policy context. The process was organised with central government authorities, and it involved a diverse mix of stakeholders from housing companies, business, knowledge production and different levels of administration. The analysis shows how different types of knowledge from system knowledge to target knowledge and transformative knowledge are generated in transition arena process, and how the shared production of knowledge increases on each step, which is necessary for drawing systemic lessons in sustainability transitions context. Therefore, we learn that the enhanced role of citizen energy communities requires active and simultaneous coordination of multiple policy pathways, illustrated as digital information, policy coordination, energy service and neighbourhood collaboration pathways. We also conclude that the traditional roles given to citizen energy agency become transformed and require more nuanced conceptualisation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102932
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Citizen energy
  • Energy policy
  • Housing company
  • Knowledge co-production
  • Transition arena


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