Wind power externalities: A meta-analysis

M. Mattmann, I. Logar, R. Brouwer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study presents the first quantitative meta-analysis of the non-market valuation literature on the external effects associated with wind power production. A data set of 60 observations drawn from 32 studies is constructed. The relative economic values of different types of externalities as well as the impact of various methodological and sample characteristics on welfare estimates are examined. The results indicate a significant effect of visual externalities on welfare estimates in both directions, i.e., a positive effect of visual improvements and a negative effect of deteriorations. This finding corresponds to predictions of the importance of visual impacts in the social science literature. External effects of wind power on biodiversity (mainly birds) do not affect welfare estimates. Indirect externalities caused by conventional sources of electricity that can be avoided by wind power, such as a the reduction of air pollution, do neither have a significant impact on welfare measures. Methodologically, we find substantial but inelastic income effects and, for choice experiments, clear evidence of sensitivity to scope. From a policy point of view, our results suggest that a policy mix combining a promotion of wind turbines with another green policy facilitates expansion of wind energy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
JournalEnergy Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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