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This content will become publicly available on August 14, 2018

Title: The climate and air-quality benefits of wind and solar power in the United States

Wind and solar energy reduce combustion-based electricity generation and provide air-quality and greenhouse gas emission benefits. These benefits vary dramatically by region and over time. From 2007 to 2015, solar and wind power deployment increased rapidly while regulatory changes and fossil fuel price changes led to steep cuts in overall power-sector emissions. In this paper, we evaluate how wind and solar climate and air-quality benefits evolved during this time period. We find cumulative wind and solar air-quality benefits of 2015 US$29.7–112.8 billion mostly from 3,000 to 12,700 avoided premature mortalities, and cumulative climate benefits of 2015 US5.3–106.8 billion. The ranges span results across a suite of air-quality and health impact models and social cost of carbon estimates. Finally, we find that binding cap-and-trade pollutant markets may reduce these cumulative benefits by up to 16%. In 2015, based on central estimates, combined marginal benefits equal 7.3 ¢ kWh -1 (wind) and 4.0 ¢ kWh -1 (solar).
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Energy Technologies Office (EE-4WE); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 17 WIND ENERGY; energy and society; environmental impact
OSTI Identifier:
1459394