Evaluating the External Effect of Wind Power Development on Grassland Quality

Feng Song, Lingling Hou and Fang Xia


This study uses a difference-in-differences approach to investigate the effect of county wind power development on grassland quality in China. We find robust evidence that increasing wind power capacity density by 0.02 megawatt/km2 leads to a 0.5% reduction in the normalized difference vegetation index from its mean value. Excluding economic activities as a transmission channel, heterogeneous effects suggest that higher latitude areas with shorter night hours in the growing season are less affected by the negative externality, supporting microclimate effects as the main mechanism. In addition, scarce wind resources and abundant precipitation may weaken the negative effect.

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