Expanding the share of renewable energy sources might substantially increase externalities as, for example, wind turbines may disturb the landscape and negatively affect biodiversity. This paper investigates the public׳s sensitivities towards these externalities by using discrete choice experiments and shows how preferences differ across inhabitants of our study region. As a further insight into the sources for these variations, a hybrid choice model is employed in order to incorporate individuals׳ latent attitudes in the estimated model. Our latent class structure allocates individuals to classes according to underlying latent attitudes that also influence the answers to attitudinal questions. We show that these underlying attitudes are a function of a number of socio-demographic characteristics, with young people, men with low income and those living closer to turbines having a stronger pro-wind power generation attitude. The inclusion of the attitudes in the class allocation component of the latent class model leads to a richer picture of people׳s valuations, revealing, for example, antagonistic preferences of two distinct groups of respondents, i.e. advocates and opponents of wind power generation.
Mariel, P., Meyerhoff, J. & Hess, S. (2015), Heterogeneous preferences toward landscape externalities of wind turbines – combining choices and attitudes in a hybrid model. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41, pp 647-657.