Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

sd.commission.org.uk

Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

9 Wind power and the communityThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors(RICS) commented in a study on the housingmarket in November 2004:‘The survey shows that 60% ofchartered surveyors with experienceof house transactions near to windfarms report that they negativelyaffect house prices, with most sayingthe biggest impact is at the time ofthe planning application. A smallernumber say that values dip the mostas construction starts, and fewer stillpoint to the moment where the plantbecomes operational. There isevidence that prices begin to recoverafter the wind farm has been up andrunning for two years. This suggeststhat wind farms become moreaccepted as communities grow usedto them.’ 62This view is backup up by the Scottish Executivestudy, which suggests that anticipated problemswith house prices are not as serious in reality,with only 2% or so of residents reporting this asa problem after the wind project is operating.Disturbance during construction andoperationConstruction activities that may disturb localresidents include increased noise and traffic.Both of these issues are normally limited tospecified working hours and days, in order torestrict the impact on nearby residents. Inaddition, the construction period in any givenarea is usually quite short.The Scottish Executive study indicated that ofresidents who lived near to a wind projectconstruction site, only 6% said that there hadbeen problems with additional traffic and 4%said that there was noise or disturbance fromtraffic during construction.Disturbances during the operational life of winddevelopments are usually limited tomaintenance activities. These activities wouldnormally involve a maintenance vehicle, andany required maintenance equipment. Mostinstallations have an annual cycle of operationalmaintenance.9.4 Economic and communitybenefitsThe net economic benefits associated with thegrowth of the wind power industry are verydifficult to quantify, and such benefits may notalways occur close to the site being developed.Jobs will undoubtedly be created by the windindustry, in manufacturing, design, projectmanagement, site construction, and operation &maintenance, and in some areas theemployment contribution could be substantial.For example, the offshore wind sector isexpected to help ease the effect of the declineof the North Sea oil and gas industry oncommunities in Aberdeen and other port towns.The DTI estimates that up to 35,000 jobs couldbe created in the renewables sector by 2020, upfrom around 8,000 currently 63 , and a largepercentage of these are likely to be within thewind power industry.However, some of the jobs created by the windpower industry will be at the expense of jobsthat would otherwise have occurred in othersectors, and any increase in electricity pricesmay also result in a small negative effect onemployment.sustainable development commissionWind Power in the UK 87

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines