New study: The impact of wind development on county-level income and employment
When wind comes to town personal income increases and jobs are created.
When wind comes to town personal income increases and jobs are created. This study below is super exciting in that it validates the American Wind Energy Association's economic development benefits arguments and -- EVEN BETTER -- it makes a strong empirical case for the economic value of community ownership models.
This coupled with another 2012 NREL project, year-by-year maps that illustrate the development of wind in the US make a great case for scaling up.
LBL Wind Energy Economic Impacts study - Sklar
We are pleased to announce the
availability of a new peer-reviewed journal publication: “Ex post analysis of
economic impacts from wind power development in U.S. counties.” The study
was conducted by a team of researchers from the Economic Research Service of
the USDA, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the National Renewable
Energy Laboratory, and is published in the journal Energy Economics.
The study provides a first-of-its-kind analysis of the impact of wind power development in the U.S. on county-level employment and personal income across 130 counties within 12 states.
Policymakers and economic development practitioners interested in the potential impacts of wind power on economic development have, to date, typically relied upon project-level case studies or modeled input–output estimates, often focusing on potential local, state-wide, or national employment or earnings impacts. In many cases, and for reasons discussed in the newly published work, these analyses have proven controversial.
Building on this literature, the new study conducts an ex post econometric analysis of the county-level economic development impacts of wind power installations from 2000 through 2008 in a large, wind-rich region in the United States. Taking into account factors influencing wind turbine location, the research finds an aggregate increase in county-level personal income and employment of approximately $11,000 and 0.5 jobs per megawatt of wind power capacity installed over the sample period of 2000 to 2008. These estimates appear broadly consistent with modeled input–output results, and translate to a median increase in total county personal income and employment of 0.2% and 0.4% for counties with installed wind power over the same period.
The journal article is available for a fee at:
A short fact-sheet presenting the key results of the work can be found at:
A PowerPoint briefing that summarizes the findings of the work in more detail than the factsheet can be found at: