The development of renewable energy sources is of prime interest to many countries seeking to pursue greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations. The increased use of renewables offers the possibility of not only contributing to emission reduction, but at the same time improving energy supply diversity and security, and developing employment and business in related supply industries. Two main mechanisms are in common use, one a quota (quantity) instrument often associated with tradable certificates, and the other a prescribed pricing mechanism. This paper considers the renewable energy development strategies of three countries (the UK, Australia, and New Zealand) all using a variant of the quota/certificate approach as the central instrument in their programs. The regulatory frameworks defining the application of the certificate systems differ notably, and the likely differing outcomes suggest that these regulatory settings may be at least as important as the selection of the basic policy instrument, in determining the overall success of programs of this nature.