Rural versus urban preferences for renewable energy developments
Development of renewable energy resources, such as wind farms and hydro-electric schemes, are being promoted as a new method of expanding and diversifying employment in rural areas. However, such energy projects are associated with a range of environmental impacts which might be detrimental to other economic activities, such as those based on nature tourism. The authors use a Choice Experiment to quantify peoples' preferences over environmental and employment impacts that may result from the deployment of renewable energy projects in rural areas of Scotland, focussing in particular on any differences between the preferences of urban and rural dwellers, and on heterogeneity within these groups. Rural and urban households are shown to have different welfare gains which are dependent on the type of renewable energy technology and on the scale of project under consideration.
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