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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
Gone with the Wind: Valuing the Visual Impacts of Wind Turbines through House Prices
Stephen Gibbons
April 2014
Paper No' SERCDP0159:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: R; Q

Tags: housing prices; environment; wind farms; infrastructure

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.

This paper has been published as:
Gone with the wind: Valuing the visual impacts of wind turbines through house prices, Stephen Gibbons, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Volume 72, July 2015