Green vs. green: Measuring the compensation required to site electrical generation windmills in a viewshed
Proponents of wind power note that wind is a green energy source. Yet locating electrical generating windmills has become difficult in some localities because of potential negative externalities. We address why the NIMBY syndrome may arise when choosing site locations by addressing the perceived property rights of a viewshed, the role of compensation in a NIMBY impasse, and how concerns for the environment might lessen the compensation required. We use a willingness to accept framework to measure the compensation required to allow wind generation windmills to be built in the mountains of North Carolina. We find that individuals who perceive wind energy as a clean source of power require less compensation. Those who retire to the mountains or individuals who have ancestors from Watauga County require more compensation to accept windmills in their viewshed. In addition, we find in a bivariate-probit analysis that individuals who are more likely to participate in a green energy program are also more likely to allow electrical generation windmills in their viewshed, suggesting that the green vs. green environmental debate is overstated.
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