Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Simulating health benefits of low carbon energy policy


低炭素エネルギー源を用いた発電とエネルギー需要の削減を行えば、化石燃料発電の必要性を減らし、亜酸化窒素、二酸化硫黄、二酸化炭素などの有害ガスの排出量を低減できる。今回、Jonathan Buonocoreたちは、2012年の米国の大西洋岸中部と五大湖南部における風力エネルギーと太陽エネルギーの各プロジェクトとエネルギー消費量の節減を目指した2つの戦略について、公衆衛生と気候にとっての利点の貨幣価値を算定するための評価方法を開発した。



Renewable electricity projects and energy efficiency measures could have health benefits worth millions of dollars a year, according to a study published online in Nature Climate Change. The value of such projects varies greatly depending on the type of project, and where they are located, however.

Generating electricity from low-carbon energy sources and cutting energy demand reduces the need for fossil fuel power generation, decreasing emissions of harmful gases such as nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide, and carbon dioxide. Jonathan Buonocore and colleagues created an assessment tool to calculate the monetized public health and climate benefits of a wind and a solar energy project and two strategies aimed at reducing energy usage in the Mid-Atlantic and Lower Great Lakes region of the United States for 2012.

They found that while all the low-carbon energy projects reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the results varied dramatically in each location. Notably, the areas with the largest share of low-carbon power did not necessarily experience the greatest health and climate benefits. For example, a wind installation near Cincinnati was twice as beneficial as one in Virginia, largely because of Cincinnati’s higher population density, magnifying the effects on human health. Meanwhile, a solar installation near Cincinnati was nearly three times as beneficial as one near Chicago because it replaced much more coal, causing a larger reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions.

The authors conclude that the benefit of implementing such strategies ranged from US$5.7 to US$210 million a year, depending on the project type and location. They suggest that their tool could be used to make decisions about which energy and environmental policies to implement across the US.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2771

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