The theme of the Nordic Energy Challenge 2024 is Citizen Engagement, focusing on how we best engage Nordic citizens in the green transition towards making the Nordics the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. We now welcome all interested actors, both from and outside of the Nordic region, to submit their abstracts for the competition. The proposed solution must contribute to the Nordic countries and bring Nordic added value as a requirement.

Empowering citizens to enable a green Nordic energy transition

Photo: iStock/Halfpoint

The green transition impacts all of us in terms of our way of life and climate. We share a common responsibility for contributing to it, especially when it comes to energy.

The green transition necessitates new energy infrastructure and construction, often visible in the open landscape, as in the case of wind farms and electricity transmission lines. This influences citizens and can lead to local resistance. As a response, citizens must be involved and engaged in the planning of energy projects to generate mutual trust and a common value set that can humanize the green transition, empower local communities, and enable an inclusive, cultural transition for a green future. The Nordic region shall not only be a green region but also a socially sustainable one.

In many ways, we face a new situation in the energy sector, unexplored by national governments, local authorities, private companies, and citizens, which means it is a challenging task.

Several challenges must be solved, for example (a non-exhaustive list):

  • Discovering procedures and tools to engage citizens in energy deployments successfully to mitigate local resilience and prolonged planning processes.
  • Releasing the potential of local gained value from new energy infrastructures to citizens, including indigenous people.
  • Identifying new growth and business opportunities that can contribute to affordable prices for local citizens and/or the public in general.
  • Enabling a cultural transition while executing the green transition of the Nordic energy system at the required tempo.

Bring forth your idea

The Nordic Energy Challenge is an annual competition held by Nordic Energy Research, where all Nordic stakeholders with different profiles and expertise are invited to hand in proposals for innovative solutions that can contribute to solving a common Nordic societal challenge related to the energy sector. Nordic Energy Research wants to shape innovative research and promote new ideas with exciting perspectives, which, in turn, can bring added value to the Nordic region. That is where you come in!

We ask: How can we best engage the Nordic citizens in the green transition towards making the Nordics the most sustainable and integrated region in the world? How can further Nordic energy cooperation facilitate the combination of high environmental ambitions with citizen perspectives by favoring a broad and strong commitment from the public, business, and civil society? And how can we use the strong Nordic cooperation to create maximum added value?

Submit your innovative proposal for the
Nordic cooperation needed to solve the challenge.

We encourage all stakeholders to submit a contribution; companies, researchers and academics, non-profit organisations, business and sectoral associations, think-tanks, students, and individuals. Please submit your abstract to Ditte Stiler at to participate in the first stage of this year’s Nordic Energy Challenge. You are also welcome to contact Ditte Stiler if you have any further questions.

Nordic added value

There are large benefits to discovering common Nordic solutions to these challenges.

Common ground. Each of the Nordic regions and countries is small, but together, the Nordic region is the 11th largest economy in the world. Together, we have the power and critical mass to lead the green transition.

Transnational added value. The cultural similarities between the Nordic countries underline a potential for sharing and exploring common solutions for engaging citizens in innovative energy projects that can create greater impact and enable a cultural transition in the entire region instead of only nationally.

Larger markets. Businesses, citizens, and regions can gain value from a large market that entails competitive prices.

Knowledge sharing. Common research, knowledge generation and the exchange of experiences can accelerate development by combining and gathering different resources.

Check out previous Nordic Energy Challenges here