Siting Community Wind Farms: An Investigation of NIMBY
Boatwright, Jessica Ann
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Wind energy is expanding rapidly in the United States as the nation\'s energy policy objectives increasingly focus on renewables. Public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans support wind energy development but actual wind farm projects often face intense local opposition. This dichotomy between general support for wind energy but opposition towards siting a project nearby is often attributed to the not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) phenomenon. In this study we employ a discrete choice experiment to investigate public preferences for different characteristics of a local wind farm. We investigate NIMBY by first controlling for characteristics that might cause local opposition, such as seeing or hearing a wind farm from home, and then after considering these effects of a wind farm we examine whether people who favor wind energy display NIMBY resistance. Finally, we estimate compensation requirements for siting a wind farm within sight or sound of someone\'s home. Results show that people who somewhat favor wind energy do display NIMBY attitudes since they are predisposed to vote against local wind development even after controlling whether they would see and hear the wind farm from their homes. We do not detect NIMBY attitudes among people who strongly favor wind energy because they have a positive disposition towards local wind farms. Our results suggest that if an incentive program is in place from the onset of a wind development project it could offset NIMBY reactions to specific projects.
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