More information has come from the authors of a recent wind-turbines-and-property-values study of Massachusetts via a webinar and related Q&A. The answers continue to point to room for additional studies, but reiterate the positive findings: “The results do not support the claim that wind turbines affect nearby home prices.”
The new study, from the University of Connecticut and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), is the latest in a series of interesting works on this topic involving experts at LBNL. The recent webinar (slides here) included additional information about the approach they used (hedonic modeling), and what the data show. And it ended with this reiteration of their main findings:
The webinar, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a funder of the study, also served as a focal point for questions from the host of attendees (including me), on a whole range of aspects. That interaction yielded a supplement to the original FAQ page, in the form of answers to those additional questions — on issues such as why the study focused on turbines above 600 kilowatts, how non-statisticians like us should read the results, and how attitudes toward wind turbines might have changed over the study period.
The authors are careful to point out that the study doesn’t say — and wasn’t configured to say — what has happened in particular locations. There were several questions to which the answer was that the study calculated “only the average effect across all facilities (and therefore all neighborhoods [or wind regimes])…”
In the report itself they suggest that as one area of potential future study, saying that “it might be fruitful to analyze impacts portioned by sales price or neighborhood to discover whether the effects vary with changes in these factors.”
More of these carefully researched studies, more solid information, and more on-the-ground experiences would certainly be welcome. Those are key inputs to help us figure out how more wind power can help us fight climate change, beef up our energy security, and usefully re-shape our energy mix for a brighter future.
For now, more information about the work that has already been done is welcome indeed.