Industry level foresight: Designing foresight methods for Lithuanian energy sector
This paper has its starting point in the background analysis of the Lithuanian energy sector after closing down the only Lithuanian nuclear power plant in 2010. Based on the hypothesis that one of the main governance failures in this sector leading to weak industry level strategies is the lack of participatory debate and sufficient linkages between the different actors involved in the dynamic of the energy sector in Lithuania, this paper proposes industry level foresight as an instrument of long term planning. Foresight exercises could become an important instrument for reorienting energy sector policy, building new networks and linkages among the different actors, bringing new stakeholders into the strategic debate, exploring future opportunities State investment (including R&D), etc. The primary objective of this paper is therefore the design of a foresight exercise on energy sector with the aim of producing a long term strategy for this sector. The secondary objective is to address a topic on how to select foresight methods at industry level. The argument is that a better understanding of the fundamental attributes of foresight methods and their linkages to the core phases of a foresight process can provide useful insights as to how the selection of methods is carried out. The method applied in this paper is dual: firstly, the synthesis of the academic literature on the selection of foresight methods is carried out; secondly, the comparative case study analysis of three foresight cases in the Baltic Sea Region (Poland, Finland and Russia) is applied. Case study analysis allows to explore the usage of foresight methods at industry level in the Baltic Sea Region and to understand if there are any similarities in the approach, also to explore success factors and weaknesses. The analysis in this paper is comprised of four main parts. The first part provides a background analysis on the energy sector in Lithuania and justification for the foresight exercise. Second part describes the underlying frameworks and definitions in the field of foresight research. The third part develops a comparative analysis of case studies of industry level foresight. The third part provides recommendations for energy sector foresight methodology in Lithuania. The paper combines concepts and frameworks from literature (such as the Foresight Process and the Foresight Diamond) with comparative practical case study analysis. The results can be utilised by lecturers and students to describe and understand better the use of foresight methods at industry level, and by practitioners of foresight to better inform decisions during the design of more coherent methodological frameworks; as well as by the energy sector stakeholders in Lithuania and other countries.
Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
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