Comparing the three policy areas examined, renewable energy, energy efficiency and overarching issues, it becomes obvious that renewable energy scores considerably higher than in the two other policy areas and that overarching issues having the weakest general performance

This can partly be explained by the long history of renewable energy policy making. Effective, straightforward instruments have been developed and implemented over the past 10-15 years. Politically-induced framework conditions stimulate markets for renewable energy technologies, giving rise to a new and dynamic industrial sector. Although the initial impulse for these policies was often environmentally motivated, today’s political drivers are a strong symbiosis of environmental and economic interests. This has, in many countries, created a relatively stable political environment for the development of the sector, independent of majorities with an affinity to climate issues. Factors that impede effective renewable energy policies include the reluctance for structural change in energy policy in combination with minor public concern on climate change, often paired with strong nuclear supply structures such as Finland, France and Sweden. Additionally, a multitude of other barriers to renewables exist, related to inadequate implementation of measures, inefficient administrative/ institutional structures and discontinuity in political support.