Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Wind turbines don't really affect house prices after all

So, you know the well-known problem with wind turbines leading to reduced property prices? Well, it turns out it's not a problem after all. In fact, it is a complete red herring manufactured out of nowhere by opponents of wind power, like the oil and gas industry and the average red-neck conservative.

And now we have more proof. Building on smaller studies in 2013, 2015 and 2016 that all concluded that property value impacts are either too small or too infrequent to be statistically observable, a couple of much larger and more up-to-date studies have shown ... the same.

One study, by a research team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA, looked at 500,000 home sales within 5 miles of a wind farm in 34 states over a period of 10 years. Crucially, it looked at the impact on sale prices throughout the whole development cycle of wind projects from initial announcement to construction to final operation.

While sale prices did fall for some properties within one mile of new wind projects, this impact was only found in particularly densely-populated areas (typically, houses are not built that close to wind farms, and vice versa). Also, it was only temporary, while the projects were in their very early stages. Within 3 to 5 years of the wind projects' operation, home prices return to inflation-adjusted pre-announcement levels.

An even larger study of 300 million home sales from 1997 to 2020 in the USA, Germany and Italy found that house sales may be impacted by up to 1% for houses within 10km of a wind power development. Also, more recently-installed wind turbines are less likely to affect house prices, suggesting that people may be becoming more accepting of wind turbines as a familiar part of the rural landscape.

So, maybe the sky is not falling, except perhaps in wealthier, more upscale communities.

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