One of the reasons that the U.S. has chosen to incentivize the development of wind energy is because it helps save Americans a lot of money. How? By keeping our population healthier.
According to a recent article in Vox, new research from the National Renewable Energy Lab shows that some of our more conventional sources of electricity generation come with significant human health impacts that turn out to be quite expensive.
To cut to the chase, let’s review the top-line conclusions:
- From 2007 to 2015, wind and solar in the US reduced SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 by 1.0, 0.6, and 0.05 million tons respectively;
- reduction of those local air pollutants helped avoid 7,000 premature deaths (the central estimate in a range from 3,000 to 12,700);
- those avoided deaths, along with other public health impacts, are worth a cumulative $56 billion (the central estimate in a range from $30 to $113 billion);
- wind and solar also reduced CO2 emissions, to the tune of $32 billion in avoided climate costs (the central estimate in a range from $5 to $107 billion).
So, if you add up those central estimates, wind and solar saved Americans around $88 billion in health and environmental costs over eight years.
By switching to wind and solar, we have helped avoid 7,000 premature deaths, and we have gained other public health benefits that have saved a cumulative $56 billion. Not bad! Check out the full article here.