This paper considers a novel spillover effect of wind farms - microclimate impacts on neighboring crop yields. Using US county-level crop and wind capacity data, I examine the effects of wind energy development on crop yields, controlling for time-invariant county characteristics and state-level annual shocks. I find robust evidence that counties with increased wind power development have also experienced increased corn and other crop yields, such that an additional 100 MW of wind capacity increases county yields by roughly 1%. At recent prices, this implies a more than $5 dollar per megawatt-hour local benefit, corresponding to several hundred million dollars in annual benefits.
Microclimate effects of wind farms on local crop yields
Title: Microclimate effects of wind farms on local crop yields
July 01, 2019
Journal: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Kaffine, D. (2019). Microclimate effects of wind farms on local crop yields. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 96, 159-173.