Wind Aware Ireland has rejected claims made by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) that wind turbines don’t negatively impact on property prices.
The IWEA had claimed that research carried out in the UK last year found that wind farms have no negative impact on the prices of property within a 5km radius of wind turbines.
Wind Aware Ireland is an alliance of community groups from 20 counties, which challenges the development of “industrial wind farms” and associated grid infrastructure across Ireland.
“To justify the roll out of thousands of wind turbines and associated grid infrastructure the benefits of wind should outweigh the costs,” said a Wind Aware Ireland spokesperson.
“These costs are substantial and include the reduction of property values in proximity to wind farms.”
In 2014 Stephen Gibbons from the London School of Economics authored a report, “Gone with the wind: valuing the local impacts of wind turbines through house prices,” which estimated the effects of visible wind farm turbines on housing prices in England and Wales.
“This price reduction is around 5-6% for housing with a visible wind farm of average size (11 turbines) within 2km, falling to 3% within 4km, and to 1% or less by 14km, which is at the limit of likely visibility,” the report concluded.
“Wind farms with 20 or more turbines reduce prices by 3% at distances between 8-14km, and by up to12% within 2km.”
The report found that a household in England or Wales would be willing to pay around £600 per year to avoid having a wind farm of average size visible within 2km, or would be willing to pay around £200 per year to avoid having a large wind farm visible within 8-14km.
“The implied amounts required per wind farm to compensate households for their loss of visual amenities is therefore fairly large: about £12m for a typical 11 turbine wind farm, based on the average numbers of households with turbines currently visible within 4km,” the report said.
“Contrary to IWEA’s statement, the resistance to wind turbines is large and growing,” the Wind Aware Ireland spokesperson said.
“75% of wind turbine applications in 2014 are now in court, while a recent Sunday Business Post ad was signed by over 200 community groups opposing these projects.
“We believe decarbonisation must happen but that there are better ways to reduce CO2 than intermittent wind energy, which by its nature cannot replace reliable baseload electricity and to date has reduced our CO2 emissions by about 3%.”
In the report, “The Impact of Wind Farm Visibility on Property Values” Professor Reinhard Madlener, Chair of Energy Economics and Management at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, came to a comparable conclusion as the London School of Economics report.
“Our results indicate that the properties that obtained an extreme-to-medium view due to the wind farm construction showed a decrease in price by about 10-17%.”
“In contrast, minor and marginal changes in the property’s views do not cause any statistically measurable adverse effect on its value,” the report concluded.
According to the Wind Aware Ireland spokesperson, “Wind energy in Ireland represents the transfer of wealth from the people to the wind developers, with very little benefit to the environment because the overall reduction on CO2 emissions from wind is about 3%.
“Wind Aware Ireland calls for a moratorium on wind farm development pending planning regulation on set-back distance and proper analysis to justify their construction in the first place.”
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