Wind Farm Development on Agricultural Land: A Strategy for Increased Resilience in the face of Climate Change

Authors: Caroline Pavlowsky*, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Land Use, Sustainability Science, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Renewable Energy, Resilience, Sustainability, Climate Change
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Galerie 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Since the early 2000’s wind energy production has been increasing in the United States with many states actively encouraging renewable energy production. This increase also led to the development of wind farms on privately owned land that has traditionally been used for agricultural purposes. Farmers with wind development on their land are often still able to continue farming. Other accounts of the impacts of wind farm development on agricultural land shows that farmers change investment and planting patterns due to the increased income provided by the land leases to wind companies. This increased income is noted to be particularly helpful in areas where drought and general water scarcity are increasing in regularity and severity. The increased revenue is independent from agricultural output and climatic variables such as precipitation which makes it far more stable than income generated from farming. Farmers recognize the stability of the revenue generated by land leases as a necessary part of continued farming and may change their farming behaviors. Essentially, Farmers with wind development on their land are more resilience to environmental changes and water scarcity.

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