Wind energy presents significant opportunity to provide a series of public goods. Drawing on the ideas of J.Q. Wilson and E. Ostrom, we compare options to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of deploying wind energy in two US states, Texas and Minnesota. Texas outperformed Minnesota in deploying wind energy technology despite Minnesota's ample wind and other natural advantages. To explain this gap in performance, we argue that Texas outperformed Minnesota because of a more fitting governance system and rules for determining (i) boundaries, (ii) cost and benefit allocation, (iii) conflict resolution, and (iv) rule revision. Our approach sheds an alternative yet overlooked lens upon the topic of wind energy development by focusing on how the concentration of power and authority in the hands of a few dominant public and private elites can lead to the successful deployment of a complex renewable technology under some circumstances.
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© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.