LAICA-Local adaptation and innovation-in-practice in energy efficiency and carbon neutrality

Funded by Academy of Finland, FICCA program, 2011-2014, LAICA consortium leader is prof. Raimo Lovio, INUSE involvement focuses on subproject 2 as well as subprojects 4 and 5.

LAICA examines the innovative potential that users display in fostering low carbon solutions in detached houses, the actions of mainstream users as well as the real-life impediments innovation. The research also quantifies the broader impacts of user innovations. Empirical research is aligned with and focused on Finnish Carbon-Neutral Municipalities initiative. Questions include: How important are the energy saving practices, adaptations and inventions? What are the key contextual factors of innovation, and how does climate policy unfold as part of the concerns of everyday life? How to align policy with such bottom-up and contextual innovation activity? The research work is organized into four subprojects and into a synthesis

Subproject 1 focuses on how generic technologies are being adapted to local contexts and what kind of fora are at use when discussing and diffusing innovations? Data include a survey and in-depth repeated interviews with selected households.

Subproject 2 focuses on the adaptive practices that result from exceptional weather conditions and other disruptive events or contexts. It makes use of previously collected diary data and carbon blogs to analyse the other concerns and opportunities along which energy use and energy efficiency are thought, practiced and reported.

Subproject 3 develops quantitative assessment methods to evaluate the broader impacts of the innovations and user practices identified in other subprojects. The assessment is brought to the level of whole nation by regarding product-specific life cycle greenhouse gas savings and potential uptake by Finnish households. Approaches, methods and indicators that could be applied for first streamlined assessing and a later more thorough assessing of user innovations are outlined.

Subproject 4 is focused on interventions. Existing interventions in the Carbon Neutral Municipalities are analysed with an eye to the roles of different actors and critical points in the processes. Secondly, the projects will run further interventions that are intended to be adopted, modified and multiplied by citizens and house owners.

In the synthesis the research will consider ways to rescale and reframe climate policy implementation as a bottomup process. This is a radically different view on climate policy, which offers solutions to the current problems of implementation and integration.
Apart from academic questions of user innovations and innovations-in-practice, the project will support further experiments and demonstrations in carbon neutrality and energy advocacy at municipal level

The LAICA team comprises of experts of innovation studies, studies of everyday life energy use and experts on assessment and quantification of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the team is supported by a national advisory board and leading international experts on user innovations and domestic energy use.

See Laica web pages for more information.

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