The role of ownership in determining the rural economic benefits of on-shore wind farms

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The development of the wind energy sector is often promoted as means of supporting rural economies. This paper focuses on how the ownership structure of on-shore wind power plants (external, farmer or community) affects the size and distribution of impacts within the rural part of the region. Empirical analysis is based on a regional CGE model of North East Scotland with the results compared to those generated from a standard SAM multiplier analysis. With no local ownership, while rural GDP increases, there is almost no effect on household incomes due to the limited direct linkages of the on-shore wind sector. Local ownership increases the household income benefits but there are still limited positive spill-over effects on the wider economy unless factor income is re-invested in local capital. With re-investment, farm household ownership gives rise to the largest increase in total household income but community ownership gives rise to the largest increase in rural (non-farm) household incomes and welfare. The results contribute to the ongoing debate about the opportunity cost of external asset ownership in rural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-360
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
Early online date27 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012



  • asset ownership
  • rural development
  • income benefits, wind power, CGE versus SAM assessments
  • CGE vs. SAM assessments
  • wind power D58
  • Q42
  • R11
  • R13

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