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Gone with the wind: valuing the visual impacts of wind turbines through house prices

Abstract.
This study provides quantitative evidence on the local benefits and costs of wind farm developments in England and Wales, focussing on their visual environmental impacts. In the tradition of studies in environmental, public and urban economics, housing costs are used to reveal local preferences for views of wind farm developments. Estimation is based on quasi- experimental research designs that compare price changes occurring in places where wind farms become visible, with price changes in appropriate comparator groups. These comparator groups include places close to wind farms that became visible in the past, or where they will become operational in the future and places close to wind farms sites but where the turbines are hidden by the terrain. All these comparisons suggest that wind farm visibility reduces local house prices, and the implied visual environmental costs are substantial.

… the largest wind farms (20+ turbines) reduce prices by 12% within 2km, and reduce prices by small amounts right out to 14k (by around 1.5%).

Stephen Gibbons
Spatial Economics Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, London, United Kingdom
April 2014

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