GWO publishes article in the Sustainability journal on the local impact of wind energy in Galicia
12 November, 2019
Members of the Galician Wind Observatory have recently published their work in the prestigious Sustainability journal. The article entitled “Local Economic Impact of Wind Energy Development: Analysis of the Regulatory Framework, Taxation, and Income for Galician Municipalities” identifies sources of income and allows us to estimate the amount of income from this economic activity that remains in Galician municipalities.
Recent decades have witnessed the rapid development of wind power, generating economic impacts at different territorial levels that have contributed to rural development. However, few studies analyze the economic impacts at a local level, especially in rural areas. In this sense, the work aims to analyze the direct wind income received by the municipalities and how this relates to changes in the regulatory framework (1995-2017). In addition, it quantifies this income for the year 2017. To this end, the study presents a systematic collection of information from secondary sources supplemented by 10 years of field work and wind farm monitoring.
The paper discloses the direct relationship between the regulatory framework and the main sources of income derived from wind activity (conventional and specific taxes, municipal property, and other income). In 2017, revenues amounted to 17.8 million euro. The paper discusses how public policies implemented throughout the period under study limited the direct economic impact derived from wind implantation in the rural municipalities of Galicia and, thus, rural development. Despite the presence of some figures of interest such as singular wind farms, these have had a very limited impact given the restrictions imposed on them by the regulatory framework. On the contrary, figures associated to community wind have totally been ignored.
The paper concludes that although wind activity has generated new income streams for municipalities, legislation has heavily conditioned them. This has created the need to advance in the creation of regulatory changes to make it increasingly more possible for the municipal entities to directly generate higher income and develop bigger wind power plants.
The article is freely accessible at the following link: