Residents' perceptions of wind turbines: An analysis of two townships in Michigan

Theresa M. Groth, Christine Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Wind energy development has become a 'hot topic' across Michigan as this state seeks to achieve 10% of energy delivered to consumers from renewable sources (Huron County Planning Commission, 2005). The focus of this effort to generate renewable energy has centered around wind energy. Wind turbines have been constructed at numerous locations across the state. The lower peninsulas' eastern counties near Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay were designated by the Wind Energy Resource Zone board as one such area of strong sustained wind in the state. Turbines have been constructed in 'pockets' across this 'thumb' region, yet half a decade after the first turbines were constructed, negative perceptions are still attributed to wind turbines. This paper examines residents of wind farm locations as a whole and independently as groups (those in opposition and in support of development) to identify what, if any similarities and differences, exist between the residents' perceptions. Qualitative analysis on stated negative perceptions unveiled common issues with residents: increased price of electricity with wind energy, noise from the turbine rotation and uncertainty surrounding the long term effects of wind turbines. These areas of concern seem to persist years after construction was completed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Policy
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Public opinion
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Wind energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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