The Health Benefits of Solar Power Generation: Evidence from Chile
Environmental Defense Fund Economics Discussion Paper Series, EDF EDP 21-02
59 Pages Posted:
Date Written: February 19, 2021
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. Examining data on daily variation in generation, we find that solar energy displaces fossil fuel generation (primarily coal-fired generation) and curtails hospital admissions, particularly those due to lower respiratory diseases. These effects are noted mostly in cities downwind of displaced fossil fuel generation and are present across all age groups. Our results document the existence of an additional channel through which renewable energy can increase social welfare.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation