Exploring the Socioeconomic Composition of Wind Farm Communities in Ontario: Implications for Wind Farm Planning and Policy


  • Matthew Quick University of Waterloo
  • Jane Law University of Waterloo
  • Tanya Christidis University of Waterloo
  • Claire Paller University of Waterloo


wind farm planning, renewable energy planning/policy, socioeconomic characteristics, income


This research explores the socioeconomic composition of sixteen wind farm communities in Ontario, Canada, for wind farms commissioned between 2006 and 2012. Past research has shown that wind farms are disproportionately developed in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas and that socioeconomic factors influence wind farm support, an important factor in wind farm planning. This research finds that wind farm communities do not exhibit characteristics of disadvantage compared to host counties. Investigating the association between when wind farms were commissioned and community-scale characteristics, this research observes that communities with wind farms operational before 2009 had significantly lower median income compared to communities with wind farms operational after 2009. This provides one perspective on how community-scale characteristics may shape wind farm planning, specifically the influence of local opposition and financial incentives on the location of wind farm developments.

Author Biographies

Matthew Quick, University of Waterloo

School of Planning

Jane Law, University of Waterloo

School of Planning

Tanya Christidis, University of Waterloo

School of Planning

Claire Paller, University of Waterloo

School of Planning