Since its introduction in the National Environmental Policy Plan in 2001 the notion of 'energy transition' is firmly rooted in the Dutch energy debate. Despite political efforts to shift to a sustainable energy system, the Netherlands is lagging behind other European countries. Scholarly literature generally ascribes such slow developments to the dominant role of incumbents. In this paper we explore how prominent incumbents of the Dutch energy system discursively frame the energy transition by unravelling their existing and evolving storylines. Our results show that decarbonization in the context of a European energy market is currently seen as the dominant driver for the energy transition, linked to discursive elements on keeping the energy supply secure and affordable. We found tensions within this dominant storyline and emerging storylines with the potential to undermine the dominant one. In response, incumbents are discursively repositioning themselves, thereby restructuring coalitions - possibly indicating discursive regime destabilization.

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Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)

Bosman, R., Loorbach, D., Frantzeskaki, N., & Pistorius, T. (2014). Discursive regime dynamics in the Dutch energy transition. In Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (Vol. 13, pp. 45–59). doi:10.1016/j.eist.2014.07.003