کیفیت غیر بازاری محلی پویایی های زندگی در جوامع مزارع بادی جدید
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|13166||2013||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5966 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 59, August 2013, Pages 800–807
The environmental benefits from generating electricity using renewable power are well known. Both wind farms and large scale solar installations require significant amounts of land to generate such power. Private land holders gain from leasing and selling land to renewable power generators but how are nearby neighbors and county residents affected? This study uses data from West Texas and documents that wind farm county's residents have gained from recent place based investments in wind farms. County property tax rates have fallen and public school quality has improved in those counties where wind farms have been built. Based on the local fiscal data, local school quality data and local ambient air pollution data, renewable power is a “better neighbor” than conventional fossil fuel fired power plants.
In 2010, coal was the fuel source for generating roughly 45% of total electricity production in the United States.1 This fossil fuel creates a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental and economic analyses have estimated the social costs generated by local air pollution and GHG emissions from burning coal (Zhou et al., 2006 and Muller et al., 2011). Muller et al. (2011) estimate that coal fired power plants are responsible for 25% of total U.S industrial pollution damage or $53 billion dollars of environmental damage each year. In recent years, the United States has reduced its reliance on coal power plants and has increased its electricity generation based on natural gas and renewable power generation. This transition offers substantial environmental benefits. Ongoing research has examined the technical feasibility of such a transition (Delucchi and Jacobson, 2011 and Jacobson and Delucchi, 2011). Many states have adopted ambitious renewable power standards to nudge electric utilities to purchase more renewable power (Delmas and Montes-Sancho, 2011). To meet these policy mandates requires allocating large amounts of land to renewable power generation. Land owners are profiting from selling or leasing their land to renewable power generators. But, there are concerns about several possible negative local externalities associated with the growth of power generation through wind and solar. Ecologists have sought to limit the growth of large scale solar and wind farms in the Mojave Desert because of concern about invading the habitat for desert tortoise.2 In the case of wind turbines, an active conservation biology research agenda examines how bird and bat populations are affected by the turbines.3 Some local communities in areas featuring wind potential and solar generation potential are concerned about the perceived local quality of life impacts related to noise, infrasound vibrations, shadow flickering and esthetic impacts. In the Cape Cod area, the environmentalist Kennedy family has opposed the Cape Wind project on the Nantucket Sound. This paper studies how local quality of life is affected by major investments in wind farms. A detailed case study of communities located in West Texas is presented. Texas has been the leading state installing wind turbines. Between 2005 and 2010, in the counties of Coke, Nolan, Sterling and Taylor, at least 2842 MW of wind generation capacity was built. This represents 6.5% of the nation's total installed wind capacity as of 2011. This investment creates the opportunity to study how large place based investments shape local communities. Using data on local demographics, school quality, and county tax revenues in areas where wind farms have and have not been built, evidence is presented showing that few people actually live within a close range of the turbines. At the county level, several fiscal benefits from introducing wind farms are documented. County property tax rates have declined and public school quality has increased. This paper also studies the community demographics for populations living close to power plants in the United States. Fossil fuel fired power plants locate in higher population density areas and are associated with elevated local pollution levels. In contrast, renewable power plants locate in less densely populated areas and produce zero local pollution. Thus, renewable power offers positive local fiscal spillovers without the local and global pollution associated with conventional power generation.