Mobilizing Values and Action through Framing Strategies in Creating a Regional Bio-energy Niche

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Which type of framing strategy helps to develop a regional bio-resource market, and what lessons can we draw for emerging markets? Building on the literature on the social construction of niches in renewable energy technology, we examine how the enactment of a number of distinctive framing strategies (diagnostic, prognostic, and motivational) influences how a niche is shielded against competing bio-resource niches and current energy regimes, how mobilization and learning unfolds, and how they pre-determine the strategies underlying the empowerment of a niche. In a comparative study, we evaluate two regional bio-resource projects aimed at developing a sustainable bio-resource market for small-scale combustion in the Netherlands in the period 2009 until 2014. Analysis of the first project showed that a diagnostic framing strategy that emphasizes the sustainable character of a project is important for shielding a bio-resource project as well as developing exposure and legitimacy. However, it constrains mobilization and learning processes and requires a radical transformation of existing logics and practices. In the second project, we found that prognostic and motivational framing strategies are useful to spur nurturing in terms of mobilization and learning because such strategies provide a rationale for action especially when such strategies account for the individual economic and image benefits of participating parties. Overall, our study suggests that a diagnostic frame is important to justify a bio-resource project but should not overshadow the processes that support the nurturing and empowerment of a bio-resource niche. This chapter purports to contribute to scholarship in the social construction of renewable energy niches by showing how framing strategies influence the development of niches. Furthermore, we offer interested renewable energy practitioners a taxonomy of framing strategies that can be used for shielding, nurturing, and empowering their ideas and offer some recommendations for emerging markets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationValues-driven Entrepreneurship and Societal Impact
Subtitle of host publicationSetting the Agenda for Entrepreneuring Across (Southern) Africa
EditorsKurt April, badri Zolfaghari
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Cite this