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Abstract

Food and energy security have increasingly acquired key natural resource policy focus. As alternative energy solutions become more land intensive, the potential implication to the agricultural sector becomes of policy interest. This study investigated the impact of projected wind energy development in Michigan on the agricultural sector. Results indicate that land lease payments overtime for wind turbine siting are expected to generate $50 million per year, impacting agricultural viability. Spatial distribution analysis suggests that most of the projected lease payments to farmers are concentrated in low value agricultural land, low value agricultural production, urban influenced, and low net farm income locations. We found that the spatial distribution of wind energy impact on agricultural viability is wide, but significant in some counties, by a margin of more than 50% net farm income gain. As renewable energy development becomes more land intensive, the potential cross-sectoral impacts need to be carefully considered.

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