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Title: Using choice experiments and contingent valuation to assess environmental impacts of wind farms in Portugal
Authors: Botelho, Anabela
Gomes, Lina Sofia Matos Lourenço
Pinto, Lígia
Valente, Marieta
Keywords: wind farms
contingent valuation
discrete choice experiments
environmental impacts
public attitudes
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Abstract: Over the last few decades, the number of wind farms installed in Portugal has grown considerably, which has stimulate an intense debate on the environmental impacts associated with wind energy. The use of wind power for electricity generation presents several environmental benefits, but it also presents adverse impacts. Some of the most important benefits mentioned in the literature are the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions (as wind energy partially replaces fossil fuels), a reduction in the external dependency of the economy, and the diversification of the energy mix. The adverse effects of wind farms include noise pollution, landscape intrusion, effects on fauna and flora, electromagnetic interferences and land use impacts. The main objective of this study is to elicit the welfare impacts of the use of wind energy to produce electricity on two groups of stakeholders: local residents (that typically bear the adverse effects) and the general population (who typically enjoys the benefits). To this end three wind farms (Arga, Negrelo & Guilhado, and Lousã II, located in the north and centre of Portugal, respectively) were selected to study the local residents’ perspective and a national sample of Portuguese residents was selected to represent the interest of the beneficiaries. The methodologies used in each case are different as the question of interest differs. Concerning local residents we applied the contingent valuation method and elicited the minimum amount of compensation they would require for the nuisances experienced; concerning the general population we applied a discrete choice experiment to elicit the willingness to pay to avoid the environmental impacts of wind farms. The results show that both general population and local residents have clear preferences over wind farms’ environmental impacts, and they are willing to pay and receive significant monetary amounts to avoid or be compensated for the environmental impacts, respectively. With the results of this study, we expect to contribute to a more efficient and thorough process of deciding the optimal location of future wind farms or expansion of existing ones, taking into account in a more complete manner the views of these stakeholders.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISBN: 978-972-789-459-8
Document Type: Conference Object
Appears in Collections:CETRAD - Comunicação em Conferência

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