Research title
Neo-Carbon Enabling Neo-Growth Society – Transformative Energy Futures 2050

Research timeline
1.7.2014 -

Keywords
distributed, economic development, emission-free, energy, energy futures, energy storage, foresight, innovation, lifestyles, neo-carbon, neo-growth, peer-to-peer, power-to-x, renewable energy, solar, transformation, wind

Region
Africa, Asia, Latin America

Countries
ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, CHILE, CHINA, FINLAND, KENYA, SOUTH AFRICA, TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF

Institution
University of Turku
Finland Futures Research Centre
Helsinki, Finland

Type of project
Research, Development and Innovation

Funding instrument
Tekes

Project budget
500,000 - 1 million euros

Head of research
Sirkka Heinonen

Research team
Sirkka Heinonen, Juho Ruotsalainen, Joni Karjalainen, Marjukka Parkkinen

Partners
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT)

Contact information
Joni Karjalainen
+358407029691
joni.karjalainen@utu.fi
http://www.utu.fi/en/units/ffrc/research/projects/energy/Pages/neo-fore.aspx

Research publication
Open link

More information
Open link

Record last updated
18.10.2016

Research summary

The foresight part of NEO-CARBON ENERGY explores possible futures of a new renewables-based energy production and storage system, which is being developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and University of Turku – Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC). This joint research project is one of the strategic research openings of Tekes – The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

The foresight work is conducted in the Finland Futures Research Centre. A possibly distributed energy production system of neo-/low-carbon technologies and emerging issues such as prosumerism can drive economic, political, cultural and social changes. Radically new innovations, services and practices could emerge as a result of the third industrial revolution.

Description

This is the foresight part of NEO-CARBON ENERGY project, in which a new renewables-based energy production and storage system is being developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The horizon scanning of the changing world and energy landscape is complemented with Futures Cliniques and other innovative foresight tools and processes. Four transformational scenarios on the neo-carbon world and neo-carbon societies 2050 will be constructed. Case studies of China, Africa and Latin America are included.

In the neo-carbon system, energy is produced by solar and wind technologies and is stored in synthetic methane. Not only energy production, but the whole-of-society will be affected by this new energy system. Possible socio-economic consequences and prerequisites of the neo-carbon energy system are anticipated. The future energy system and landscape is affected by changes in socio-cultural aspects such as value systems and people's lifestyles.

The foresight focus of a possibly distributed energy production system is on economic, political, cultural and social changes, driven by low-carbon technologies and emerging issues such as prosumerism. Radically new innovations, services and practices could emerge as a result of the “Third Industrial Revolution”. A neo-carbon energy system can provide the material basis for the future development of network society and economy based on co-creativity and ecological lifestyles.

What kinds of business opportunities, organization models and lifestyles does the peer-to-peer neo-carbon society enable to companies, citizens and society? Could growth be defined anew – so that it is environmentally sustainable and serves the overall well-being of citizens, instead of conventional economic goals?

The project is financed by Tekes new strategic openings during 2014–2018 and conducted at Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), University of Turku (UTU) in co-operation with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).