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Health and climate benefits of offshore wind facilities in the Mid-Atlantic United States

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Title Health and climate benefits of offshore wind facilities in the Mid-Atlantic United States
Title of Series Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, 2016
Author Buonocore, Jonathan J.
Luckow, Patrick
Fisher, Jeremy
Kempton, Willett
Levy, Jonathan I.
License CC Attribution 3.0 Unported:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
DOI 10.5446/39406
Publisher Institute of Physics (IOP)
Release Date 2016
Language English

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Subject Area Physics
Abstract Electricity from fossil fuels contributes substantially to both climate change and the health burden of air pollution. Renewable energy sources are capable of displacing electricity from fossil fuels, but the quantity of health and climate benefits depend on site-specific attributes that are not often included in quantitative models. Here, we link an electrical grid simulation model to an air pollution health impact assessment model and US regulatory estimates of the impacts of carbon to estimate the health and climate benefits of offshore wind facilities of different sizes in two different locations. We find that offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic is capable of producing health and climate benefits of between 54 and 120 per MWh of generation, with the largest simulated facility (3000 MW off the coast of New Jersey) producing approximately 690 million in benefits in 2017. The variability in benefits per unit generation is a function of differences in locations (Maryland versus New Jersey), simulated years (2012 versus 2017), and facility generation capacity, given complexities of the electrical grid and differences in which power plants are offset. This work demonstrates health and climate benefits of offshore wind, provides further evidence of the utility of geographically-refined modeling frameworks, and yields quantitative insights that would allow for inclusion of both climate and public health in benefits assessments of renewable energy.

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Dr. Jonathan Munich or I'm a research associate at the Harvard in school Public Health Center for Health and the Global Environment and I'm here to talk a little bit about our paper published recently in environmental research letters called the health and current benefits of offshore wind facilities in the mid-Atlantic United States climate changes been called 1 of the greatest public health threats of the 21st century was also considered possibly 1 of the greatest public health opportunities of the 21st century 1 of things that I was really interested not in this research was trying to really put health into the discussion about climate change a lot of
electricity in a new user generated from fossil fuels to these largely in the US it's coal and natural gas and all these things contribute to air pollution air pollution deteriorated quality and can lead to health effects ranging from you know respiratory
disease to stroke and a heart attacks and ultimately death the so we did is that we used a series of models to estimate both the climate and the health
benefits of building offshore wind in areas off the coast of New Jersey and off the coast of Maryland if we were to build offshore wind what emissions would be the averting what would be a health benefits and also what would be the kind of benefits so we did this using the Epstein model and what that is
is it's us we have 3 different models tied together there's 1st electrical grid dispatch model there is this public health benefits model and then also also climate benefits model we 1st simulated aid of baseline case of what the electoral grid and would behave without any these facilities in place we then simulated on how the electric grid would behave if there were these additional facilities off the coast of New Jersey and Maryland we simulated a variety of different facility sizes these 2 places the smallest was a 200 megawatt facility of custom Maryland the largest was the 3 thousand megawatt facility in New Jersey the facility in in Maryland the tournament what facility generates about enough power to provide electricity for about 59 thousand average US homes the largest facility the 3 thousand megawatt facility in New Jersey it provides enough power to power of about 900 thousand U.S. homes which by the way it's about of lectures to the power of most of Washington DC 1 we put these benefits to both climate and health into monetary terms we get benefits of about 54 220 dollars megawatt hour and the largest facility was simulated generated benefits about 690 million over the course of the year so that is a combination of of the kind of benefits from offsetting carbon emissions and also the health benefits due to its displacing air pollutant emissions the health benefits from that facility was about 55 life saved a year over the course of say 30 year life of a wind farm that would be about 1650 life's it from that 1 facility the day-to-day experience of electricity as we consume it isn't going to change you can still watch TV you can still make toast in the morning but the differences
because you're getting electricity from these cleaner sources the air coryzal clean air at your little healthier and Angell so many these benefits are occurring basically immediately and their occurring in the regions that are building these facilities when it
builds renewable energy in this case offshore wind problem proving air quality and improving health
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