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Energy Systems and Innovation

What is the role of innovation in unlocking technological change in energy systems? How do innovations at the system level compare to individual technologies? The focus ranges from cities and transportation systems to national and continental energy systems.

Photo: Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

In this research area, we put attention on the need for innovation driven by sustainable development goals on a global level, translated into regional and national plans. The dynamics of innovation are studied via energy systems analysis where the focus is on long-term investment – cycles of investment and taking into consideration the upcoming of new technologies. When do technologies become competitive in the system, and when and how do they support the system? Examples of concepts we examine are:

  • Sector coupling of different energy sectors (power, heat, transport),
  • Digitalisation and energy,
  • Hydrogen as an energy vector.

Main research objective

  • To inform on the role of innovative technology and new business models to support the transition of the energy system – decarbonized and sustainable.

Methods used

  • System Optimization using e.g. OSeMOSYS and BeWhere,
  • Busines model canvas development,
  • Stakeholder engagement methodologies, from interviews and surveys, to workshops, to joint research projects.


European Climate and Energy Modelling Forum

The aim of the European Climate and Energy Modelling Forum (ECEMF) is to provide knowledge to inform the development of future energy and climate policies at national and European levels.

OPM Ethiopia project “Energy system development pathways in Ethiopia”

The project “Energy system development pathways for Ethiopia” is being led by the University College of London (UCL) along with the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) and Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAIT). The project is part of the Applied Research Programme on Energy for Economic Growth (EEG), led by Oxford Policy Management.


Building a collaborative and inclusive environment to promote knowledge exchange, context-specific modeling toolkits, and modeling expertise to advance climate-compatible development within the established energy planning ecosystems of the AU and EU.

Research Initiative on Sustainable Industry and Society (IRIS)

The goal of IRIS is to create strong research environments at the ITM school at KTH, and to stimulate new collaborations within and outside the school. IRIS represents a unique opportunity to establish the school at the forefront in research on sustainable industry and society.

Smart City Concepts in Curitiba: Low-carbon Transport and Mobility in a Digital Society

The project explores the transformational change needed to make urban Transport and mobility more energy-efficient, low-carbon, and sustainable. The project will provide concrete ground for testing technological transformation in an urban context in Latin America, capitalizing on Swedish and European experiences. It will contribute new insights and tools for addressing mobility in urban areas, exploring multi-level infrastructure transformation and technological innovation in a transdisciplinary cooperative platform.