Department of Economics

Global micro-data project on energy transition

Energy sector is globally the largest single emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and the use of fossil fuels still continues to grow. Many developed countries and regions have invested substantial public funds to the transition of their energy systems towards an increased use of renewable sources and new technologies, but the impacts remain local and global conclusions elusive.

Our research project takes the first focused steps towards a global research agenda on drawing, consolidating, and expanding the lessons from the developed world experience in energy transition. We study how different market conditions affect the incentives to innovate in the electricity markets, the evidence on the value of storage technologies, and the role of incumbent technologies in the energy transition.

The Celebration of Global Differences in Electricity Markets – A Musical Performance epitomizes our climate and energy challenges and explicates how the variation in local market conditions can be turned into a strength in scientific understanding. The art and science performance is part of the Designs for a Cooler Planet programme, one of the main events of Helsinki Design Week 2020.

The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions at the moment. Just reaching the developed world per-capital consumption in the developing world will increase the World total energy consumption by a factor of four.

Global climate problem must be met with local solutions in markets throughout the world. Solar and wind power are the key scalable technologies that can save the plant from fossil fuels. Together with other new entrants, these clean technology contenders are ready to go, but we need to clear the track for them to get to the markets in actuality.

In our research project Global micro-data project on energy transition, we are the first ones to zoom into the microdata of successful energy market transitions to help design cooler markets. A global energy transition will benefit greatly if it can be supported with the right market mechanisms: this will help to make the transition more efficient and make the transition harder to resist. 

This research project is a collaboration between Aalto University and Wärtsilä, and is funded in part by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Working group:

  • Matti Liski, Oskari Nokso-Koivisto, and Iivo Vehviläinen, Department of Economics at Aalto University.
  • Matti Rautkivi, Wärtsilä Energy Business.
  • Musical performance: Mikko Helenius and Oskari Nokso-Koivisto.

Project group

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