The development of renewable energy sources is central to the goal of gaining independence from conventional fossil fuels and achieving a sustainable energy supply. As these technologies are not yetfully developed and due to multi-dimensional selection environments cannotalwayscompete with conventional energy sources in the market, renewable energy sources initially require temporary protective space. Although some research has identified important factors with regard to the development of renewable technologies, there have not been any clear empirical studies, especially focusing on the new Member Statesof the European Union. Bulgaria and Poland in particular showed divergent results with regard to the deployment of the renewables. One, Bulgaria, achieved an outstanding increase in the share of energycoming from renewablessince its target was set in 2009, while another, Poland, has seen a sluggish result with regard to its policies. The aim of this paper is to identifythe factors leading to the successful promotion of renewable energy in the new Member States by using a comparative study of the cases of Bulgaria and Poland. The comparative study is conducted based on the three protective spaces advocated by Smith & Raven (2012). As a result, two main factors can be seen as the determinants of the success of renewable energy policies; "mprovement of connection to grid networks in shielding process" and "schemes for a transition from a niche space to a socio-technical regime in an energy industry structure in empowering process." Additionally, the delay of effective renewable energy policy implementation, which in the case of Poland, led to a failure of policy.
Bulgaria Empowering EU Evolutionary theory New Member States Nurturing Protective space Poland Renewable energy policy Shielding