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Valuing the attributes of renewable energy investments in Scotland

Bergmann, A. and Hanley, N. and Wright, R.E. (2004) Valuing the attributes of renewable energy investments in Scotland. [Report]

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This study was funded by a grant from the Scottish Economic Policy Network (SEPN) with funding assistance provided by the University of Glasgow, Department of Economics (Professor Nick Hanley) and the University of Sterling (Robert Wright). The goal of the project was to determine the value of differing types of renewable energy projects by how they would effect environmental and community quality of life factors. The key issues examined include; air quality, landscape, wildlife, and long term local employment. Stated preference methods were employed through the use of a discrete choice experiment survey approach. Willingness-to-pay for different types of renewable energy projects was estimated, i.e., moderate onshore windmill farms, large onshore windmill farms, offshore windmill farms, and biomass fueled power plants. The most significant findings were that rural areas likely to be most highly impacted by the new energy projects were willing to accept low or moderate environmental damage in exchange for commercial development gains. Urban respondents on the other hand were more likely to oppose any disturbance to the landscape or wildlife and had no value placed on the economics development gains for the rural areas; income level of households showed no significant difference in environmental values.