German homeowners could see the value of their property fall if wind turbines are built in their vicinity, according to a study by research institute RWI. The value of a one-family house falls by an average of 7 percent when a wind turbine begins operation within 1 kilometre of the property, RWI estimates, based on a review of close to 3 million offers on an online real estate website. The effect disappears at a distance of 8 to 9 kilometres, RWI says, adding that the drop in value is down to potential noise pollution and the turbines’ aesthetic impact on the landscape. The study found that the value of older houses in rural areas dropped by up to 23 percent, while almost no devaluation was observed for houses built on the outskirts of larger towns. “Wind power may be important for the success of the energy transition but implications for property owners can be severe in some cases,” RWI researcher Manuel Fronde said.
Several regional governments in Germany have imposed strict minimum distances from residential areas for new onshore wind turbines, but critics argue this could pose a significant challenge to meeting the country’s renewable power targets. According to a study commissioned by WWF in October 2018, available land will become become “the new currency” of Germany’s energy transition.
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