Wind Energy Development and Its Effect on Property Values
With the omnipresent concerns surrounding climate change and global warming, there has been the push for the embrace of alternative fuel sources. This has seen contemporary global society gradually shift from the use of high polluting and nonrenewable fossil fuels such as coal to the use of renewable energy sources such as wind. Research indicates that as of December 2012, there were approximately 200,000 wind towers worldwide producing around 300GW (Lang and James 5). Wind energy is the world’s fastest growing source of energy at least according to the Global Wind Energy Council report of 2013. However, wind energy developed has received mixed public opinions. Supporters of the same argue that it is the most preferable because of its efficiency. On the other hand, people opposed to wind energy development give several reasons such as its adverse effects on wildlife and aesthetics as it jeopardizes views and causes annoyance (Lang and James 5). These effects have further resulted in a significant decrease in the value of property located around or near wind turbines or towers. For a long time, there has been the argument about whether wind energy development affects property values with several studies seeking to support or oppose this argument.
The study by Walker, Baxter, Mason, Luginaah, and Ouellette focuses on the public concern about the effect of wind energy development on real estate value. They believe that there are only a few studies already in place to give insight into the issue of how residents near turbines view the value of their own properties. The study opines that the argument surrounding the effects of wind turbines of property value comes amid concerns about pollution, climate change, and the need to increase the sovereignty of energy. All these mentioned perspectives have seen nations pursue alternative energy sources such as wind. With a focus on Canada, this article suggests that the country among others has seen an increase in wind energy production from 137 MW in 2000 to 8517 MW in July 2014. The primary reason in the increase in Canada’s wind energy production and use is the current Liberal government’s aim to embrace the use of renewable energy sources.
The objectives of the study were to investigate residents’ perceptions of changes in property values and to explore the predictors of perceived impacts of changing property values in the context of daily life. The mixed method study was guided by grounded theory and involved in-depth interviews as well as quantity surveys of people living near wind turbines. The study’s participants were from Port Burwell and Clear Creek. The selection of participants employed snow ball sampling. The study’s quantitative survey analysis encompassed bivariate and multivariate analyses. The quantitative survey’s design was based on the results from the qualitative component of the study and was later distributed to randomly selected homes that were located within 2 kilometers of a turbine (Walker et al. 428).
In Port Burwell, the interviewees had the belief that wind turbines have no effect on real estate values. Out of the people interviewed in Port Burwell, 13 stated that wind turbines have no effect on real estate values. Two individuals declined to give their opinions and only one stated that wind turbines increased the values of real estate property. In Clear Creek, out of those interviewed, six stated that wind turbines have a negative effect on real estate property values (Walker et al. 430).
The different statements from participants regarding the effect of wind turbines on real estate property values can be attributed to a perceived blame game among local residents of the two study areas. Some of the residents believed firmly that the influence on real estate prices could be attributed to the residents themselves. This study came up with mixed findings meaning that it was difficult to determine whether wind energy development does or does not cause the loss of real estate property value. Like other studies, this study’s limitation was that it encompassed a survey that hardly provided the residents with the opportunity to indicate their belief on whether property values have increased due to wind turbines (Walker et al. 437). The participants were only given the opportunity to agree or disagree with research questions related to loss of property value. The study offers helpful suggestion for the future, especially for policy makers and developers, through its indication of the health effects of turbines and how these can compromise property value (Walker et al. 437).
To sum up, it is true that there is difficulty in determining whether wind energy development does or does not affect property value. As seen in this study, some people believe that wind turbines attract residents, which translates to high property value. Others believe that wind turbines cause annoyance due to constant noise and the fact that they compromise aesthetic view, which translate to a decrease in property value. Since the modern world shifting fast to the use of wind energy, it is important to determine the adverse effects of wind turbines on property value. Nevertheless, the fact that wind turbines have adverse effects on human health could mean that few people will prefer living near them in future. This could be menacing for real estate property investors as a decline in the value of the same will be inevitable.
Lang, Corey, and James Opaluch. “Effects of Wind Turbines on Property Values in Rhode Island.” Final Report for Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (2013). Retrieved on July 2, 2017, from http://www.energy.ri.gov/documents/Onshore%20Wind/Final%20Property%20Values%20Report.pdf
Walker, Chad, et al. “Wind energy development and perceived real estate values in Ontario, Canada.” AIMS Energy 2.2333–8334 (2014): 424-442. Retrieved on July 2, 2017, from http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/45663967/Wind_energy_development_and_perceived_re20160516-13209-1udjdps.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1499081198&Signature=bLRufdY0KJBbU3U5yTB1rVk0NFw%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DWind_energy_development_and_perceived_re.pdf