Energy research and innovation discourses, applications, and future directions: A review and case discussions from national and international projects

AM. Belay, H. Tuiskula
Smart Innovation Norway,

Keywords: energy community, multi-vector, flexibility, efficiency, hosting capacity, economic viability


The research investigates the trends and state of art on energy research and innovation by closely looking into solution-focused literature and comparing the results with practical applications. For this, an in-depth bibliography study and several national and EU-funded international projects of Smart Innovation Norway (SIN) were considered (37 projects of which 18 are international). Both the results from the project implementations and the bibliography showed a tendency towards the solution focusing on multisector/multisector, flexibility, modular tools, societal, and community-oriented solutions. However, most literature focuses on proposing various methods to get an optimal solution whereas the completed and ongoing projects emphasize socio-economic values. In this connection, this paper deeply investigated the cases of two EU-funded projects (INVADE, RESOLVD, and E-LAND). INVADE focused on energy flexibility solutions and RESOLVD improved the operations of smart LV grid management. E-LAND provides modular tools for energy communities. These case projects have different technology readiness levels (TRL), but the economic viability test of these projects showed that the proposed solutions need a critical mass and large deployment to make the business give economic sense. This is validated from the benefit-cost analysis (BCA) of the two projects with a high internal rate of interest and shorter payback periods (2-5 years). The research has implications on energy research communities, businesses, policymakers, and academia in the context of creating synergy and optimal solutions towards the green transition.