Socioeconomic Impacts of Oil and Gas and Wind Energy Development

Although research on the socioeconomic impacts of utility-scale solar is scarce, an abundance of research exists on the impacts of oil and gas and wind energy development. By considering the effects and similarities that oil, gas, and wind energy share with the solar industry, we can make predictions about the socioeconomic effects of solar facilities proposed for the California desert. Below is a table which compares different examples of energy development and their respective socioeconomic impacts.

Socioeconomic Effects in the Oil and Gas, Wind Energy, and Solar Energy Industries. A “+” indicates a benefit while a “−” indicates a cost. A “+/−” indicates the effect could be a cost or benefit and a double symbol indicates a significant effect.
Community Effects Oil and Gas Nevada Solar One Solar on Public Land
Job Creation + + Negligible Negligible
Population Growth - - Negligible Negligible
Lease Payments + + None
Property Taxes + + + Negligible
Tourism NA +/- +/-
Recreation NA +/- +/-
Quality of Life NA +/- +/-
Social Cohesion NA +/- +/-

For more in-depth information on the socioeconomic impacts from the oil and gas industry, the wind energy industry, and the implications for solar development, see the left-hand navigation bar.