The influence of the sustainability discourse on the Dutch and Belgian energy transitions

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This thesis examines the influence of the sustainability discourse on the Dutch and Belgian energy transitions. Since the energy transitions will have to be executed through many actors of which a lot are societal actors, it can be expected that the perception that people have about sustainability is going to affect their behavior. This thesis examines the sustainability discourse through the following research question: ‘To what extent are the energy transitions in the Netherlands and Belgium influenced by the current sustainability discourse?’. In order to examine this influence, interviews are held with Dutch and Belgian actors that will have to participate in the energy transitions. The research method that is being used is a discourse analysis. It appeared that the Dutch and Belgian sustainability discourses have significantly changed over time. It appeared in both countries that the dominant sustainability discourse not only affects the energy transition, it actually shapes the energy transition. The content of discussions, the set targets, which actors are involved and the way actors interact are all affected by the sustainability discourse. The energy markets and energy projects are currently changing and adapting to trends that arise from the sustainability discourse.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen