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What blows in with the wind?


  • De Silva, Dakshina G.
  • McComb, Robert P.
  • Schiller, Anita R.


The shift toward renewable forms of energy for electricity generation in the electricity generation industry has clear implications for the spatial distribution of generating plant. Traditional forms of generation are typically located close to the load or population centers, while wind and solar-powered generation must be located where the energy source is found. In the case of wind, this has meant significant new investment in wind plant in primarily rural areas that have been in secular economic decline. This paper investigates the localized economic impacts of the rapid increase in wind power capacity at the county level in Texas. Unlike Input-Output impact analysis that relies primarily on levels of inputs to estimate gross impacts, we use traditional econometric methods to estimate net localized impacts in terms of employment, personal income, and property tax base. While we find evidence that both direct and indirect employment impacts are modest, significant increases in per capita income accompany wind power development. County and school property tax rolls also realize important benefits from the local siting of utility scale wind power.

Suggested Citation

  • De Silva, Dakshina G. & McComb, Robert P. & Schiller, Anita R., 2013. "What blows in with the wind?," MPRA Paper 51915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51915

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Wind energy; industry growth; per capita income; tax base.;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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