There have been a lot of political backings of renewable energy, and specifically wind power. Many claims have been made that wind energy installations help fuel jobs, and have a positive impact on local economy, but few studies have been done to prove or disprove it… until now! Let’s see the latest study on the economic impact of wind turbine development on counties…
The USDA, Economic Research Service in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory have conducted a study to determine actual economic impacts on counties where wind turbines have been installed between 2000-2008 in the Midwest.
This image shows the total installed wind capacity of the areas studied, which included Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, (a total of 1009 counties).
The results speak for themselves:
- “…for every additional MW of installed wind power capacity, total county personal income increased by $11,150 over the 2000 to 2008 period, a somewhat larger impact than estimated previously”
- “…an average aggregate increase in net county-level employment of 0.5 jobs per megawatt”
You can read the whole report here: Ex Post Analysis of Economic Impacts from Wind Power Development in U.S. Counties
What do you think about the economic impact of wind turbine development? Does this study make it clear enough that there is a positive effect on local economies?