From riches to rags: Biofuels, media discourses, and resistance to sustainable energy technologies

F. Sengers, R. P.J.M. Raven, A. Van Venrooij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to open the black box of resistance to sustainable energy technologies by analyzing (shifts in) media discourse. To this end, media coverage on biofuels in the Netherlands between 2000 and 2008 is analyzed by means of combining novel quantitative approaches with practitioner interviews. The quantitative analyses reveal the dynamics in the content of media discourse, but also its underlying structure in the form of two axes, each representing opposite socio-cognitive frames: 'techno-economic vs. social-ecological' and 'regional vs. global'. In-depth interviews with key practitioners in the Dutch biofuels field support these finding and provide additional insights with regard to (a) perceived shifts in media coverage; (b) cognitive pluralism; (c) the politics involved; and (d) resistance in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5013-5027
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofuels
  • Discourse analysis
  • Resistance

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