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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 847; doi:10.3390/su9050847

Adoption and Use of Low-Carbon Technologies: Lessons from 100 Finnish Pilot Studies, Field Experiments and Demonstrations

1
Consumer Society Research Centre, Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Motiva Ltd., 00100 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yongrok Choi
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-carbon technologies; pilot projects; demonstrations; experiments; learning low-carbon technologies; pilot projects; demonstrations; experiments; learning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Heiskanen, E.; Hyvönen, K.; Laakso, S.; Laitila, P.; Matschoss, K.; Mikkonen, I. Adoption and Use of Low-Carbon Technologies: Lessons from 100 Finnish Pilot Studies, Field Experiments and Demonstrations. Sustainability 2017, 9, 847.

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