Este pasado viernes, Nathaly Rivera presentó su trabajo » Estimating the Pollution and Health Impacts of Renewable Energy Investments in Chile».

Lee el abstract aqui:

Renewable energy can provide local and regional social benefits, through reductions in air pollution and the resulting positive effects on human health.  Despite the emerging literature on the modelling of energy displacements by renewable generators, the extent that these renewable investments translate into health improvements has yet to be tested empirically. Our research estimates the health impacts of increasing adoption of solar energy generation in Chile, through changes in local air pollution. Our focus is on the spatial heterogeneous effects of increasing solar generation. Solar energy adoption can displace some fossil fuel generators but increase the power injection from other fuel sources as well (such as those ramping up in response to evening reductions in solar generation). These differing effects on deployment of different generator types along with the distribution of fossil fuel power plants across the country results in spatially heterogeneous changes in local air pollution concentrations. Consequently, we hypothesize that health outcomes, such as hospital admissions and urgent care visits –particularly those due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases– will have improved (worsened) in places where emissions decreased (increased) due to solar generation. Through a difference-in-difference methodology, we first estimate which fossil fuel plants have been displaced/increased by solar generation, and then use these to identify communities that are “treated” by solar generation. Control communities are those that either don’t have fossil fuel generators or whose fossil fuel power plants are not displaced by increased solar generation. We contrast these outcomes before and after the large influx of investments in solar generation that started in 2014 for areas treated and those not treated by the change in emissions due to solar power generation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical paper examining some of the local environmental and health benefits of solar power generation.