The Health Benefits of Solar Power

June 22, 2016

Reap the long-term benefits of lower emissions and air pollution.

Encouraging solar power expansion could result in roughly $400 billion of added environmental and public health benefits, according to a new study by the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

“A U.S. solar system in which solar plays a major role, supplying 14% of demand in 2030 and 27% in 2050, would result in enduring environmental and health benefits,” says Ryan Wiser of Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area. “The existing fleet of solar plants is already offering a down payment towards those benefits.”

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, the existing 20 GW of installed solar is already lowering annual greenhouse gas emissions by 17 million metric tons, saving the equivalent of $700 million per year in avoided damage by carbon emissions.

Relying on alternatives to coal-fired power plants also reduces conventional air pollutants commonly found in plant emissions, including sulfur, nitrogen and particulates. The health and environmental benefits of the pollution reductions alone are estimated at $890 million due to avoiding premature mortality and other negative health outcomes, Wiser explains.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...