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The health benefits of solar power generation: evidence from Chile

Rivera, Nathaly M., Ruiz-Tagle, J. Cristobal ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-4488 and Spiller, Elisheba (2024) The health benefits of solar power generation: evidence from Chile. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 126. ISSN 0095-0696

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jeem.2024.102999

Abstract

Renewable energy can yield social benefits through local air quality improvements and their subsequent effects on human health. We estimate some of these benefits using data gathered during the rapid adoption of large-scale solar power generation in Chile over the last decade. Relying on exogenous variation from solar irradiation and incremental solar generation capacity over time, we find that solar energy displaces coal generation and curtails hospital admissions due to respiratory diseases. These effects are largely manifested in cities downwind of and near coal plants that are displaced by the introduction of new solar. The reduction in exposure to air pollution from these displaced coal plants seems to be driving this relationship. Our results help quantify the health benefits that can be achieved through greater renewable energy investments.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-e...
Additional Information: © 2024 Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
L - Industrial Organization > L9 - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities > L94 - Electric Utilities
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q42 - Alternative Energy Sources
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q53 - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2024 13:36
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2024 21:48
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/123756

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