Many countries are embarking on transitions to sustainable energy systems. Others are already well underway. Their transitions will require fundamental and interrelated changes in technologies, fuels, infrastructure, policies, markets and institutions. We provide an initial exploration of the key elements of policy packages for sustainable energy transitions as well as their application in different timeframes. Using the lens of "real-world" policy implementation, an overarching theme of the paper is that there is no single energy transition policy package that fits all countries - national policy objectives and constraints will shape each jurisdiction’s policy mix.
Taking the challenge of implementing robust carbon pricing as one example of a constraint faced in implementation of policy packages, we also quantitatively analyse the role of moderate carbon pricing across different sectors in IEA scenarios. Finally, an in-depth case study of Canada’s low carbon energy transition policy package shows that policy packages are essential - and inevitable - to drive sustainable energy transition in thee real world, but attention must be paid to interactions amongst policies.