Hyysalo, S., Juntunen, J.K., Martiskainen, M. (2018) Energy internet forums as acceleration phase transition intermediaries. Research Policy 47 (5): 872-885.
Available here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.02.012
ABSTRACT: Citizen users play important roles in the acceleration phase of energy transitions, during which small-scale renewable energy technologies (S-RET) become taken up more widely. From users’ perspective, turning the early, and typically slow, proliferation into a more rapid and widespread diffusion requires not only the adoption of S-RET but also the adaptation, adjustment, intermediation and advocacy of S-RETs. These activities become necessary because S-RET face a variety of market, institutional, cultural and environmental conditions in different countries. New Internet-based energy communities have emerged and acted as key user-side transition intermediaries that catalyse these activities by qualifying market information, articulating demand and helping citizen users to reconfigure the standard technology to meet the specificities of different local contexts. In doing so, Internet communities foster an appreciatively critical discourse on technology. Such user intermediation is important in expanding the markets for S-RET beyond that of enthusiasts, environmentalists and other early adopters, to the early majority of adopters who demand more exposure, clearer information and less uncertainty about new technology options.
Keywords: intermediaries; users; transition; acceleration phase; renewable energy; digital communities; energy communities