The research question of this paper is how institutional conditions affected policy and planning processes for wind energy implementation. This is studied from the perspective of building institutional capacity in order to start policy learning. Implementation in the Netherlands has been ponderous, due to an emphasis on centralised policy-making, and an underestimation of issues of spatial and environmental planning and problems of local acceptance. Over time, little support has been mobilised for wind power developments, and resistance has increased. Nevertheless, as an unintended consequence of liberalisation, locally owned wind projects have accelerated implementation achievements in recent years.