Rural Wind & Gold

Thanks to Josh Gabbatis and the folks at CarbonBrief:

Windfarms raise incomes and house prices in rural US, study finds

Wind turbines have increased local incomes by around 5% and house values by 2.6% in parts of the US, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Energy Policy, found benefits in terms of jobs, taxes and land payments associated with renewable energy.

In the study, the authors used the variation in wind-power growth in counties across the US to assess economic outcomes for comparable areas. They say that their approach allowed them to isolate and prove the causal effect of windfarm construction on economic outcomes.

Last year, wind power generated 9% of electricity in the US, with much of it coming from onshore turbines in rural regions. The researchers note that, according to their findings, wind power has brought the greatest benefits to such areas.

Upon his election in 2020, US president Joe Biden committed to an inclusive clean energy transition, achieving 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2035 while ensuring jobs and support for communities around the nation.

The authors of the new research say their results provide evidence for the benefits of wind turbines and could help to generate local support for them in rural areas.

‘Tremendous’ growth

The study notes that US wind power has grown “tremendously” in a relatively short space of time.

As the maps below show, in 1995, when wind power made up 0.1% of US electricity, it was concentrated in California. It has now spread across much of the nation, particularly in Texas and some of the Great Plains states where wind speeds are particularly high. …

Read the whole report here.

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