Large-scale renewable energy brings regionally disproportional air quality and health co-benefits in China

iScience. 2023 Jul 23;26(8):107459. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.107459. eCollection 2023 Aug 18.


Developing renewable energy could jointly reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and bring air pollution-related health co-benefits. However, the temporal and sub-national distributions of investment costs and human health co-benefits from renewable energy deployment remain unclear. To investigate this gap, we linked multiple models for a more comprehensive assessment of the economic-environmental-health co-benefits of renewable energy development in China. The results show that developing renewable energy can avoid 0.6 million premature mortalities, 151 million morbidities, and 111 million work-loss days in 2050. Meanwhile, the human health and economic co-benefits vary substantially across regions in China. Renewable energy can undoubtedly bring health and economic co-benefits. Nevertheless, the economic benefits lag considerably behind the high initial investment cost, first negative in 2030 (-0.6 trillion Yuan) and then positive in 2050 (2.9 trillion Yuan). Hence, renewable energy deployment strategy must be carefully designed considering the regional disparities.

PMID:37599826 | PMC:PMC10432202 | DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2023.107459


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