Denmark, Germany, and Finland are countries that have emerged as technology leaders in key renewable energy fields—wind energy, solar power, and bioenergy. In this article, we dig into the policy trajectories of these countries and concentrate particularly on a phenomenon that is common for them all—the long-term commitment to promoting particular renewable energy (RE) technologies. Analyzing commitment, its causes and its consequences, can be considered important, as earlier findings show that long-term, consistent policy signals are a key for policy success. In this article, we point out that this ‘sticking’ to a RE technology has emerged and manifested in multiple ways in the case countries. Examples include relying on existing cultural capacities when navigating energy policy direction, strategically promoting scaling of technology markets to root new energy practices in society and developing energy policies as an extension of existing socio-technical structures. In order to understand these dynamics in more depth, we utilize literature on policy robustness and resilience. While all the case countries, Denmark, Germany, and Finland, have generated robust RE policy goals, Finland has failed to foster resilience simultaneously. We conclude that analysing stickiness of policy elements can be fruitful when seeking to understand and design transformative policies. Further, it can be taken as a complementary analytical perspective in the policy mix studies.
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