Building on the intersection of institutional theory and entrepreneurship research we examine how the interaction of regulative, cognitive, and normative institutions impacts industry evolution. In the analysis of the renewable electricity sector in the 27 European member states we find that entrepreneurial entry had a significant effect on the improvement of environmental performance of the energy industry. We also find differences in the impact of mandate vs. incentive-based policies on the reduction of CO2 emissions in the energy industry. Finally, we find the effect of entry and policy on environmental performance is moderated by the presence of regional environmental values. Taken together, these findings contribute to the study of institutions, entrepreneurship, business and sustainability, as well as raising implications for entrepreneurs and policy-makers.