The Health Effects of Coal Electricity Generation in India

Resources for the Future Discussion Paper No. 12-25

38 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2012

See all articles by Maureen Cropper

Maureen Cropper

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Resources for the Future

Shama Gamkhar

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Kabir Malik

World Bank

Alexander Limonov

Resources for the Future

Ian Partridge

University of Texas at Austin

Date Written: June 26, 2012

Abstract

To help inform pollution control policies in the Indian electricity sector we estimate the health damages associated with particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from individual coal-fired power plants. We calculate the damages per ton of pollutant for each of 89 plants and compute total damages in 2008, by pollutant, for 63 plants. We estimate health damages by combining data on power plant emissions of particulate matter, SO2 and NOx with reduced-form intake fraction models that link emissions to changes in population-weighted ambient concentrations of fine particles. Concentration-response functions for fine particles from Pope et al. (2002) are used to estimate premature cardiopulmonary deaths associated with air emissions for persons 30 and older. Our results suggest that 75 percent of premature deaths are associated with fine particles that result from SO2 emissions. After characterizing the distribution of premature mortality across plants we calculate the health benefits and cost-per-life saved of the flue-gas desulfurization unit installed at the Dahanu power plant in Maharashtra and the health benefits of coal washing at the Rihand power plant in Uttar Pradesh.

Keywords: coal-fired power plants, particulate matter, electricity, health damages, pollution control, concentration-response function, India

JEL Classification: Q01, Q51, A53

Suggested Citation

Cropper, Maureen L. and Gamkhar, Shama and Malik, Kabir and Limonov, Alexander and Partridge, Ian, The Health Effects of Coal Electricity Generation in India (June 26, 2012). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper No. 12-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2093610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2093610

Maureen L. Cropper (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Shama Gamkhar

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

Kabir Malik

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Alexander Limonov

Resources for the Future

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Ian Partridge

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

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