One of the commonest fears is that property values will devalue as a result of a wind farm located nearby.
This is perfectly understandable, as land is the most important asset that most families can have.
Fact: There is no evidence that the presence of a commercial windfarm within sight of a property systematically decreases its' value: In Australia or overseas. In fact, it can enhance value.
Wind farms do not limit the ability of a landholder, particularly a farmer, to continue to operate as they have always done. Wind Towers have a very small footprint on the ground. Cattle, other livestock and other fauna rapidly get used to and ignore their presence. Payments to landholders for access to their farm, add to their economic viability. The term ‘drought proofing’ is commonly used, because the landowners have an alternative and consistent income stream despite what is happening with the climate and surrounding economy. Payments become an asset should the landowner wish to sell.
The Clean Energy Council states: “The value of properties goes up and down for a wide range of reasons. Supply and demand, proximity to amenities and infrastructure, housing affordability and the desirability of the location can all have an impact. If someone is having trouble selling their property and it is near a wind turbine, there could be many other reasons to explain why this is the case.”
The graphs below were created using data from propertyvalue.com.au by Victorian Greens MP Greg Barber in 2012 (see here). Each is in an area where a wind farm has been built. The graphs clearly show that there are no long-term declines in land values associated with wind farms.
Similar graphs from South Australian property values (using realestate.com.au), created by Dave Clarke (http://ramblingsdc.net/WindValues.html) all show the same trend.
NSW Dept of Lands (2009) studied a total of 45 transactions from Wind Farms all over Australia: 8 study areas, applying the 'before and after' and/or 'matched pairs' evaluation method. Of these, only 5 showed adverse affect of the view of wind farms."From our analysis of previous studies and our own investigations, the majority of wind farms erected in Australia appear to have had no quantifiable effect on land values. A relatively small number of "lifestyle" type properties located very close (less than 500 metres) to wind farms in Victoria were found to have lower than expected sale prices (based on a statistical analysis), and it is possible that audio and visual aspects of wind farms contributed to this. Evidence suggests that any such wind farm related impacts on land values can be readily alleviated by ensuring a suitable separation distance between the wind turbines and any nearest residential dwellings. Generally, the separation distances identified in NSW appear to be sufficient in this regard."
A summary of results are below:
Note: sites where samples of 0 were found to have no sales transactions since the construction of the wind farm. 'Actual' means an absolute reduction in values, while 'Possible' means an observed slower rate of increase relative to comparitors. 'Lifestyle properties' mean properties over 2000m2 in size but in use for primarily residential purposes only (eg: hobby farms).
International Studies correlate with the Australian experience.
29 August 2013 — A study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found no evidence of wind turbines affecting property prices.
Analysing more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind farms across nine US states, it found no evidence of impacts to sale price from the turbines. Berkeley Lab said the study, A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States, was the most comprehensive to date, using a number of sophisticated techniques to control for other potential impacts on house price, including collecting data from before the wind facilities’ development announcement to post-construction and operation.
“Although there have been claims of significant property value impacts near operating wind turbines that regularly surface in the press or in local communities, strong evidence to support those claims has failed to materialise in all of the major US studies conducted thus far”, said report lead author Ben Hoen.