Wind Farms: Crushing Property Rights & Values Everywhere

lake winds

A much cheaper room with a ‘view’ …


In Australia, hundreds of law-abiding rural citizens have had their valuable property rights permanently destroyed by wind power outfits – with knowing assistance from all levels of government.

Property values for those unfortunate enough to be situated anywhere near these things, are a mere fraction of what they would otherwise be; and even the mere mention of a proposed wind farm has rendered plenty of properties unsaleable – at any price:

Potential Wind Farm Neighbour Finds Idyllic Property is Now ‘Unsaleable’ at Any Price

Some might call it “State-Sponsored Theft” …. well … that’s what STT calls it.

With the Coalition’s plan for a further 2,500 (and Labor’s plan for another 11,000) of these things to be carpeted wall-to-wall, all over Australia’s rural heartland, it’s little wonder that rural communities are taking matters into their own hands.

Here’s an American take on what’s driving the fury, all over the World. It’s a stunningly well-written piece, and thoroughly well-researched (make sure to click on the links – many of them will bring up detailed and learned papers and articles of relevance, wherever you are).

Do Wind Turbines Lower Property Values?
Jude Clemente
23 September 2015

A key point of contention against wind (and solar) farms is that they require much larger amounts of land to generate the same amount of electricity, an important downgrade of their “greenness” that goes conveniently ignored. Wind power is naturally intermittent, and plants typically operate at about 25% of full capacity, compared to coal and natural gas plants operating at 90%.

Thus, it can take 4-5 wind plants to produce the same amount of electricity as a single fossil fuel plant.

The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded that generating 20% of electricity (which is likely the highest we could go, see here) with land-based wind installations would demand at least 20,000 square miles, or the size of Maryland and Vermont combined. By comparison, all U.S. nuclear power plants, which produce around 20% of power, occupy only 110 square miles.

One headline is indicative: “Wind farm ‘needs 700 times more land’ than fracking site to produce same energy.”

The main reason industrial wind farms take up so much land is that each turbine can be spaced a half mile or more apart. And bigger, taller, and more spaced apart turbines are better because they can generate more electricity. Standing 650 tall (200 meters), these giant wind turbines dwarf nearby buildings. Along with the complexity of siting, this explains why getting wind farms built is much harder in real life than in the Sierra Club’s mind.

The pervasive “Not in My Backyard” (NIMBY) syndrome indicates that even the most ardent renewable energy supporters in public often don’t want wind farms near their own homes in private (see the wind hypocrisy of this famous family here). Additionally, the wind build-out will require massive amounts of new high-voltage transmission lines because our best wind locations, many of which have already been taken (“the sweet spots get chosen first”), are far from cities.

Perhaps most importantly, wind farms flicker, make noise, cause health problems, and can be “visual intrusions,” so their impact on property values, especially as wind power grows, is increasingly concerning.

The Obama administration is heavily pushing wind power, and the Clean Power Plan could require a more than tripling of wind capacity to 220,000 megawatts by 2030 and a near quadrupling by 2040. The stakes are very high: U.S. housing is already struggling, but remains a whopping $27.5 trillion market.

Reduced property values from wind farms is in stark contrast to the “shale gas revolution,” which has created “thousands of new millionaires” of property owners.

Wind Turbines Dwarf Surrounding Structures


It surely seems logical enough, anything that would cause a potential buyer to value a property less lowers its value. A piece of property, after all, is just what someone is willing to pay for it. Markets are about supply and demand, and all things being equal, why would somebody choose to buy a home with an industrial wind farm nearby? And simply put, it seems impossible to believe that wind turbines would actually add to a property’s value.

But, there’s a heavily funded public relations machine to make Americans think that wind power doesn’t impact property values, and it’s every bit as influential as the “Big Oil” the anti-fossil fuel movement purports to be so against.

Renewable energy and the “environment” are big businesses (see the Volkswagen emissions scandal for proof) and they include not just energy producing companies but also various agencies, interest groups, and even university researchers. Their grant money and careers are at stake.

Many members of the Real Estate and Appraisal businesses, however, have been clear that wind power DOES impact property values, and it would seem to me that these groups have no vested interest in supporting wind power or not supporting it. So, these findings are critical:

In “High-Voltage Transmission Lines and Rural, Western Real Estate Values” published in The Appraisal Journal 2012, Dr. James A. Chalmers, qualified as an expert witness in over 20 states, found that residential properties near transmission lines sold for 20-50% less than comparable residential properties.

Michael McCann, of McCann Appraisal, LLC based in Chicago, concludes that: “Residential property values are adversely and measurably impacted by close proximity of industrial-scale wind energy turbine projects to the residential properties,” up to 2 miles and a range of 25% to approximately 40% of value loss.

John Leonard Goodwin, who has been a real estate broker for more than 10 years in Ontario, Canada, reports that wind turbines absolutely do impact property values: “Turbines complicate your property enjoyment, period. That alone spells depreciated value…they will also cause a significant loss of real estate value.”

According to research in 2014 by the London School of Economics, wind farms can cut as much as 12% off the value of homes within a 2 kilometer radius, reducing property vales as far as 14 kilometers away.

In 2013, an Ontario Superior Court of Justice determined that landowners living near large wind farms do suffer from lower property values, with the court accepting a 22-55% reduction.

See this long list documenting how wind power DOES reduce property values here.

The U.S. now has about 46,000 wind turbines, with tens of thousands more expected. Ultimately, “being green” is about minimizing our impact on the natural environment (why cities are green), so a very strong case against large-scale wind development can be made because it requires so much land.

The negative environmental impacts of the industrialization of the American landscape is a conversation that WE MUST BE HAVING: wind’s impact on local property values can no longer be ignored because wind power is set to play a larger role in our electricity portfolio.

But, those in the pro-wind, anti-fossil fuel business continue to ignore a lot of things (it certainly makes life a lot simpler!). The fossil fuel inputs for wind power are particularly large, so the anti-fossil fuel movement is in reality anti-renewable energy.

Along with the requirement for fossil fuel backup generally from natural gas, wind is unavailable much more than it’s available, wind power has less “green” credentials that many care to admit. And don’t forget it’s oil that fuels the trucks that move wind turbines tens or hundreds of miles to their remote locations.

And the pro-wind, anti-fossil fuel business appears completely oblivious to the fact that wind turbines are made from steel, which is mostly made from coal. There are about 170 tons of coal in an onshore wind turbine, and about 280 tons of coal in an offshore one.

Thus, a simple question illustrates the absurdity of the pro-wind, anti-fossil fuel position: does the coal miner that mines the coal…that makes the steel… that makes the wind turbine… have a “green job?”

I say they do…or at least much more so than the administrative assistants and overpaid lawyers in the environmental business that are overrepresented in the “green job” tallies.

And of course, the opportunity costs of renewables go ignored. An obsession with wind and solar power at all costs, for instance, has Germany paying $26.2 billion for electricity that has a market value of just $5 billion.

Such grand illusions must be stopped … immediately.

With 1 in every 4 American adults already believing the Sun orbits the Earth, we’ve got enough ignorance as it is.


Don’t be alarmed, it’s government policy …


About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Grant Winberg says:

    The demolition of property values of land and residences surrounded by IWT’s is heightened by the advice from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment that host landowners cannot contract out of their responsibility to remove IWT’s should they require decommissioning. The land owner is financially dependent on the then owner of the IWT to fund this process. IWT’s before approval, after approval and after construction are sold and purchased by single purpose companies that may readily be isolated from their sponsors and bankrupted. Any IWT host (or estate beneficiary) who sells (with or without the IWT rental income) his land on which IWT’s have been built to unsuspecting purchasers must surely be exposed to damages claims. The landowner’s obligation is as surely impacted by OH&S laws. Real estate agents are already obliged to advise potential purchasers of such issues. Banks will be increasingly hesitant to assume such financial risks when assessing security for their lending in rural areas impacted generally (or potentially) by IWT’s.

  2. Terry Conn says:

    This post and yesterday’s post describe a very sorry ‘truth’ and brings to mind a ‘Forward by The Hon Justice Michael Kirby (a former well known Justice of Australia’s highest court The High Court) to the Law of Resumption and Compensation in Australia by Marcus Jacobs QC’. Justice Kirby included the following :-
    “the Magna Carta – In article 52 of that document of 1215, King John promised:

    ‘to any man whom we have deprived or disposed of lands,castles, liberties or rights, without the lawful judgment of his equals, we will at once restore these.’

    There you have the two concepts that have been refined by the many subsequent statements of basic principle: the requirement of authority of law and the obligation of restoration and proper satisfaction.

    In the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens of 1789, the formulation took on the colour of a basic civil right. Article 17 provides:

    ‘Property, being an inviable and sacred right, none can be deprived of it except when public necessity,legally ascertained, evidently requires it, and on conditions of a just and prior indemnity’.

    There can be little doubt that this formulation influenced James Madison when he was drafting the bill of rights for the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment provides that:
    ‘No person shall be … deprived of …property without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation'”.

    Justice Kirby notes a similar provision in s.51(xxx) of the Australian Constitution.

    These principles apply to “Acquisition” very clearly. Governments around the world hide behind the idea that no wind farms are acquired and therefore no compensation is payable or restitution required. The causal link between government subsidy and mandated renewable energy targets and the damage done to thousands of citizens around the world by wind farms is so strong, however, that the ‘link’ is obvious and undeniable — as STT has stated repeatedly, ‘no subsidy, no wind farms, no mandatory targets, no wind farms’.

    Governments around the world have provided the gun, provided the bullets, painted the targets (rural citizens) and handed all this to ‘greed’ to pull the trigger.

    How many revolutions have occurred both prior to 1215 and since because government of whatsoever kind has failed to uphold the principles as pointed out by Justice Kirby. Denial of responsibility just will not cut it! Responsible government requires that this dreadful situation as outlined (once again) in these last two posts is ‘fixed’ immediately.

    A ‘complaints’ commissioner with the terms of reference given by our Minister for the Environment are an insult to the all sufferers and a slap in the face to the senators who handed down the senate enquiry report.

    There will be consequences, the problem is too big, too universal and too far removed from the principles above.

  3. In Falmouth, MA, USA, the Town Meeting Members have been so manipulated by the windies that they are expected to vote for Article 2 on the Town warrant giving the Town the right to take 200 properties surrounding the two Town owned wind turbines. The properties are valued at their post-wind turbine value, roughly half of what they were worth on the market before the coming of this fraud. If the greenies get away with this, they will set an example for the rest of the world in how to destroy personal lives and drive people out of their homes. These are real 2015 Nazis!

  4. The owner of Yass Real Estate in Yass at a meeting held on the 9th October went as far as to say that properties within 2ks of the Rye Park windfarm will become unsaleable…

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