DOE Study: Solar and Wind Save $22 Billion; 12,700 Lives Saved

August 18, 2017 Eric

When it comes to clean, renewable energy, it’s not just what you save yourself – it’s also what you save everyone.

 

One example of this philosophy is evident in a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy that shows big ecological and public health benefits from the change-over from coal and fossil fuels to wind and solar power.

 

The numbers are astounding: over the past decade, officials say, solar and wind power have saved a whopping $22 billion just in terms of “climate and health benefits.”

 

The study also cited an estimated 12,700 lives saved.

 

Where does this number come from? A major part of the equation is the harmful particulate emissions caused by traditional fossil fuel energy generation. Researchers take into account the health savings from lower amounts of carbon and particle pollution, and apply them to a model to get an idea of how much these energy changes have done for the general population.

 

Cleaner air and water is like preventative medical care – it saves lives, but is also decreases medical costs. That’s another element of these savings.

 

Overall, researchers have attached a value to the “social cost of carbon:” a cost of $7 per metric ton of CO2. However, many experts say the real cost of carbon emissions is much higher, citing other “soft costs” and effects on our environment that might not be reflected in the official number.

How about in terms of kilowatt hours?

 

Researchers cite a savings of 7.3 c/kWh for wind power, and 4.0cents/kWh for solar power. You can see that’s a significant amount compared to what consumers pay for solar right now.

 

New studies like these are good reasons to consider new solar projects – but in reality, there are other forces pushing business and property owners to get on board. Simply put, solar makes sense. It’s becoming profoundly affordable, and giving traditional energy options a run for their money. Economies of scale are making solar more attractive – and some states and local communities even grant tax exemptions or offer other incentives for property owners to “go green.”

 

If you are interested in getting involved in the solar revolution, talk to Sun Day Solar about practical ways to outfit your property. We have helped many clients around Charlottesville and the Albemarle County area to get outfitted for renewable energy generation and benefit from natural energy from the sun. Become one of many who realize the individual and collective benefits of finding new ways to support ourselves and our planet.