Wind power has, despite its abundance as a potential power source, sparked a good deal of controversy with the wind turbines necessary to generate the electricity our homes need conjured up as towering eyesores on our landscape. One of the principle concerns of those who would be living nearest wind farms and their turbines is that the presence and noise of the turbines is surely certain to bring the area’s property prices tumbling down and affect the desirability and saleability of the area.
New research for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory indicates, however, that such fears are ungrounded. The Laboratory found in the course of its research into the issue that “there was no appreciable impact on the values of around 7,500 properties that stand in close proximity to wind turbines.” One of the staff scientists and co-author of the research at Lawrence Berkely, Ryan Wiser, stated that the group “simply found no evidence that such homes were negatively impacted by the presence of wind farms and turbines.” Mr Wiser also commented on past studies into the impact of wind turbines of house values and the fact that previous studies had reached differing conclusions. He stated that many such past studies were conducted using unreliable methods, such as sample sizes that were far too small to form a reasoned and balanced conclusion, further stating that despite the fact that many previous studies had led to a considerable amount of literature on the issue the conclusions reached were, in most instances, “deeply flawed.”
Those that have long championed the use and advancement of wind power have welcomed the new study and have described it as reassuring for those communities that will play host to wind turbines and farms in the future. It may also spark more positive action from governments that have previously been rather tardy to act.
Despite the good news that wind turbines and farms do not impact on house values the authors of the study also stated that ,while there was no statistically significant adverse impact on house values from wind turbines, there might still be an effect upon individual houses. Mr. Wiser went on to state that “individual homes may possibly have been affected, as any human development has an impact on prices, and to suggest otherwise is a little silly.” Having said this, however, the Laboratory’s study was extremely wide-ranging and looked into homes utilizing many different pricing models and also took into account such factors as the recent market tribulations. The result was that it discovered no evidence at all to uphold the view that house values were sensitive to the nearness of wind power facilities.
In a final statement Mr Wiser said that, if there were homes whose values were affected, they are few and far between and the research team was unable to find any widespread impact. The price of properties is not, however, the sole concern of those that live in close proximity to wind power facilities, with many claiming that turbines spoil their views and are too noisy as well.
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