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Thursday 19 October 2017
19 October 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Renewable Energy

US researchers find wind farms do not impact on local house prices

A team of leading researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analysed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind farms in 27 counties across nine US states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.

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Turbines have no effect on house prices in the US

And their report, commissioned by the US Department of Energy, found the widespread impact from wind turbines was "either relatively small or non-existent".

The findings US report is likely to clash with a soon-to-be-published UK report, which is reported to claim property values in rural areas are affected by neighbouring wind farms.

But Ben Hoen, lead author of the new US report, explained: "This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic and in both studies [using two different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measurable impact on home sales prices."

Hoen is a researcher in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Berkeley Lab.

The new study used a number of sophisticated techniques to control for other potential impacts on home prices, including collecting data that spanned well before the wind facilities' development was announced to after they were constructed and operating.

This allowed the researchers to control for any pre-existing differences in home sales prices across their sample and any changes that occurred due to the housing bubble.

This study, the most comprehensive to-date, builds on both the previous Berkeley Lab study as well a number of other academic and published U.S. studies, which also generally find no measurable impacts near operating turbines.

"Although there have been claims of significant property value impacts near operating wind turbines that regularly surface in the press or in local communities, strong evidence to support those claims has failed to materialise in all of the major US studies conducted thus far," says Hoen.

"Moreover, our findings comport with the large set of studies that have investigated other potentially similar disamenities, such as high voltage transmission lines, land fills, and noisy roads, which suggest that widespread impacts from wind turbines would be either relatively small or non-existent."

The report was authored by Ben Hoen (Berkeley Lab), Jason P. Brown (formerly USDA now Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City), Thomas Jackson (Texas A & M and Real Property Analytics), Ryan Wiser (Berkeley Lab), Mark Thayer (UC San Diego) and Peter Cappers (Berkeley Lab). The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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