It is useful to consider two different types of governmental stakeholders: politicians and bureaucrats.
This group includes politicians, advisers, political parties and their traditional allies. These stakeholders will tend to be quite focused on public feeling, marginal seats, voter sentiment and the attitude of different demographics or traditional allies. The views of these groups are directly related to their tenure and therefore their decision-making power. They will be balancing these indicators with the technical advice from their bureaucracy.
These groups also tend to have signature issues upon which they focus, such as job creation or environmental protection, providing a filter through which they will approach new issues.
Political decisions may not appear rational at first glance. Thus issues must be considered from a political angle — rather than technical or economic — for the decision-making process to be understood.
The bureaucracy and government agencies are in principle non-partisan in many countries. Their mandate will be to provide the best outcomes for the constituency in their issue areas, be it industry development, energy security or environment.
Although politically neutral in principle, every employee will have a fairly clear idea of what is and is not possible given the likes and dislikes of his political masters. Bureaucrats may also be receiving less than favourable information on renewables from other sources. Nonetheless, the skill level or technical expertise of bureaucrats cannot be taken for granted. It is up to industry lobbyists to ensure that they are kept abreast of renewable energy developments.
In terms of action, solid networks and good information flow are crucial to ensuring that these bodies are producing sound information and recommendations for decision-makers.
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