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HomeTech & GadgetsDo solar farms lower property values? A new study has some answers

Do solar farms lower property values? A new study has some answers

A field of solar panels and windmills in the desert.
Enlarge / A area of photo voltaic panels and windmills within the desert.

A brand new research finds that homes inside a half-mile of a utility-scale photo voltaic farm have resale costs which can be, on common, 1.5 p.c lower than homes which can be just a bit farther away.

The research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory helps to refute a number of the assertions of photo voltaic opponents who stoke resistance to initiatives with speak of big drops in property values. Nevertheless it additionally drives a gap via the argument made by folks within the photo voltaic business who say there isn’t a clear connection between photo voltaic and a drop in values.

The authors analyzed 1.8 million dwelling gross sales close to photo voltaic farms in six states and located diminished property values in Minnesota (4 p.c), North Carolina (5.8 p.c), and New Jersey (5.6 p.c). The three different states—California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts—had value modifications that had been inside their margins of error, which implies the worth results had been too near zero to be significant. The paper was printed within the journal Power Coverage.

The authors accounted for variations in property options, inflation, and different elements so as to isolate the impact of proximity to photo voltaic.

Ben Hoen, a co-author and analysis scientist on the Lawrence Berkeley lab, mentioned the numbers are clear however extra analysis is required to grasp what’s occurring on the native degree to result in these value results.

“Now we have a way of the ‘what,’ however we don’t know the ‘why,’” he mentioned.

Data from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Enlarge / Knowledge from Lawrence Berkeley Nationwide Laboratory.

Paul Horn/Inside Local weather Information

For instance, he doesn’t have an intensive clarification for why the worth variations are greater in some states than others.

The researchers selected this group of states as a result of they had been, apart from Connecticut, the highest 5 within the nation for the variety of photo voltaic installations of a minimum of 1 megawatt as of 2019. They included Connecticut as a result of it’s an instance of a state with a excessive inhabitants density close to photo voltaic initiatives.

Hoen emphasised that the outcomes present a interval in time, with transactions that occurred from 2003 to 2020, and will not replicate costs proper now.

Additionally, he famous that the paper’s evaluation doesn’t have in mind any of the monetary advantages of photo voltaic for landowners and communities, which can embody funds from the developer and a lower in native taxes.

The research is being launched at a time of speedy growth within the quantity and measurement of photo voltaic initiatives, which is a key a part of the nation’s push to scale back the emissions that contribute to local weather change.

The size of development in photo voltaic improvement has been met with an intensifying resistance in native communities the place some folks argue that the initiatives are ugly and pose a menace to property values and human well being. Photo voltaic opponents amplify these considerations on social media.

Of all of the arguments towards photo voltaic, the concept it’ll damage property values has been among the many most potent, primarily based on prior reporting by Inside Climate News about the local debates. At public hearings and in feedback filed with regulators, some residents speak about how they worry reductions of 40 p.c or extra.

This story initially appeared on Inside Climate News.

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