An Analysis of Offshore Wind Development: A Non-Market, Stated Preference Approach to Estimate Impact and WTP in Three Lake Michigan Regions

Start Date: 
May 1, 2012
End Date: 
Apr 30, 2013
Summary: 

This was a Master's Project to understand community perceptions regarding offshore wind energy development in Lake Michigan in Evanston, Illinois and Mason/Oceana Counties, Michigan.

Objectives:

(1) Test residents’ decision-making processes to vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ hypothetical, offshore wind farm scenarios at varying distances via a contingent valuation method (CVM) survey

(2) Analyze information sources, demographic characteristics, and opinion variables that could explain local opposition/support for current offshore wind farm development and the CVM votes

(3) Estimate the non-market value of the viewshed impact through a stated preference, willingness to pay (SP WTP)

Conclusions:

  • W. Michigan: had much more solidified opinions
  • Evanston: feels electricity rates, job creation and air quality would improve
  • W. Michigan: similar opinions but to lesser extent
  • Evanston:
    • Men more likely to oppose the CVM scenario
    • ‘High’ income family very likely to support scenario
Sponsor: 
Citizens for a Greener Evanston
Research Areas: 
Keyword: 
offshore wind
contingent valuation method (CVM)
willingness to pay (WTP)
survey methodology