Wind farms dont bring nearby property prices down, US report shows

Wind farms do not have any significant negative effect on property values, according to a new government funded study published in the US.

‘Neither the view of wind energy facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities was found to have any consistent, measurable and significant effect on the selling prices of nearby homes,’ says the report funded by the Department of Energy.

It looked at 7,500 single family home sales in nine different states between 1996 and 2007 and said that its study is the most comprehensive ever on the impact of US wind projects on residential property values.

The study says that wind turbines and farms provide 30,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity.

Their soaring towers, often hundreds of feet tall, have led many people to debate, however, whether they depreciate property values.

‘No matter how we looked at the data, the same result kept coming back.

There is no evidence of widespread impacts,’ said co-author Mark Thayer, chairman of the economics department at San Diego State University.

 Other studies have shown that property sale prices are affected if it is near conventional power plants or high voltage transmission lines.

‘The same cannot be said for wind energy facilities,’ said Thayer.

The team used a hedonic model like those used by real estate professionals to estimate the marginal contribution of individual house or community characteristics to sales prices.
 
‘Although the analysis cannot dismiss the possibility that individual homes or small numbers of homes have been or could be negatively impacted, it finds that if these impacts do exist, they are either too small and/or too infrequent to result in any widespread, statistically observable impact,’ the report concludes.

The wind energy industry welcomed the report.

Although the amount of electricity supplied to the US grid from wind power projects remains a relatively low 2%, many expect that percentage will rise and that wind energy could contribute a significant percentage of future electricity supply. President Barack Obama has called for a doubling of renewable energy by 2012.

‘The conclusions of this study could not be more definitive.

Wind farms do not weaken property values,’ said Denise Bode of the American Wind Energy Association.

‘These important research findings offer good news for those communities that might be considering the location of wind farms nearby.

Wind energy has multiple benefits: it creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gases, and delivers direct economic benefits to rural communities.

Now we can also say that wind energy has no impact on property values,’ she added.