Governments all over the world experience institutional conflicts in transforming their fossil-based energy system into a more renewable one. Between national, regional, and local tiers of government tensions rise on meeting renewable energy objectives. Under the institutional arrangement of subsidiarity, decisions on renewable energy policy objectives are taken on the international level, while the implementation of policy increasingly becomes a local responsibility. In this paper, we use an institutional framework to analyze the tensions in interactions between tiers of governments on four cases of Dutch wind energy policy implementation. The analysis offers insights into how tensions emerge in top-down wind energy policy implementation in the Netherlands. Within the four cases, tensions between government tiers are found, serving to constrain local tiers of government to implement local policy and object to top-down development. The results indicate that local issues aren’t sufficiently addressed in higher-tier government policies.