Do wind farms really send house prices down?

» By | Published 09 Apr 2014

The debate about wind turbines and property prices blows on, pushed back into the headlines every so often by a gust from a new study or piece of research.

The latest studies on the subject, from the UK, contradict each other: a study from the London School of Economics purports to show that wind farms can knock as much as 12% off the values of homes within a 2km radius, but a report by the British Centre for Economics and Business Research in March found no negative impact on property prices within a 5km radius of a turbine.

Another UK based study, from the RICS4-Oxford Brookes University in 2007 concluded that “there was limited evidence of detrimental impact of wind farms on house prices”.

Beyond the UK, studies from Denmark, the US and Canada have all corroborate the fact in recent years that there is no impact on property prices.

How is it possible that the highly reputed LSE has come out with a study which shows the opposite of the main research on the subject? Maf Smith, deputy chief executive at UK renewable energy association RenewableUK explained in The Guardian:

“The LSE study tests for the influence of wind farms in a different way. It covers a shorter period rather than looking at the whole lifecycle of the project. It measures only from a central point at each wind farm site rather than taking into account every single turbine at the very edges of the development. It makes necessarily simple assumptions about visibility, when we know that in reality many sites will be hidden by nearby buildings, trees and the local landscape.

“We’re grateful that the professor states that his work is not conclusive. It helps to explain why his findings don’t accord with previous research that the CEBR, RICS and others have done.”

Categories: Climate change