A new study looks into the regional impact of renewables on climatic and health factors. The study, published in Palgrave Communications, reveals that the impact varies according to the country of usage. Meanwhile, countries with higher air-pollution experience greater climate and health benefits from the use of renewables. The health and climate benefits per Megawatt of renewable energy are lesser in Brazil, North America, and Europe.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard
C-CHANGE) is behind the new research. Additionally, the findings of the
researchers give a point of reference to gauge regional benefits of renewable
energy usage. Furthermore, the findings can help investors and policymakers in
formulating sustainable energy models. Such studies help attain The Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Comparing Climate and Health Benefits
The researchers developed a workable model to study
the health and climate benefits of renewables in multiple regions. This led to
the finding countries with high coal usage in the electricity grid reaped
greater climatic benefits. These countries include Estonia, Mongolia,
Australia, and Botswana. On the flip side, health benefits were tremendous in
regions with high population densities. Some of these countries include
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Ethiopia. Therefore, the model could help the
UN in tabulating improvements in renewable energy usage on a global scale.
Objectives of C-CHANGE
A research associate at Harvard C-CHANGE believes that such a model has not been developed earlier. Meanwhile, Harvard C-CHANGE is focused on to make climate change a personal responsibility. It is driving people towards realizing their role in protecting the environment. Research associated from C-CHANGE also point to the possibility of new paradigms in sustainable growth and green energy. The new model to study renewable energy usage is likely to gain popularity in multiple regions.
Renewable energy production surged to over 41% of the country’s power supply in March, 2017, with the production touching a record figure of 19.5 TWh. The last month has been spectacular in terms of renewable energy production for Germany with a soaring monthly generation of electricity from wind and solar energy.
Power Production from Renewable Indicate Encouraging Trends
Last month, the nuclear power production touched the nadir since the 1970s. With the marked phase out of nuclear reactors continuing since 2000, the country has planned to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022. Last month also registered a record reduction in nuclear energy for France. On March 18, Germany registered another wind power record in production and reached a figure of 38.5 GW. In March, the combined electricity production from wind and solar energy in Germany totaled 12.5 TWh. Power production from biomass also witnessed a robust growth at 4.5 TWh.
Wide Scale Disclosure of Nuclear Power Plants in Germany and France
These developments were significant in the backdrop of rapidly declining nuclear power production in Germany. Reduction in nuclear energy production in the nation can be partly attributed to the phase out of the reactors since they were built in the mid-1970s and 1980s; the reason being eight reactors of the 19 continue to be in service. However, currently almost half of them are down having gone for an overhaul of some kind and are expected to resume operation soon. Neckarwestheim II, Grohnde, and Brokdorf are the reactors that have gone offline in the recent months. While all of the reactors are scheduled to be shut down tentatively by 2022, Gundremmingen B, will be the first to be closed down. The reactor was reportedly affected with a computer virus and was supposed to go offline in 2016.
A lot of reactors are also poised to go offline in France with the official closure declared for the Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant. The country has aimed to reduce its reliance on nuclear power generation from 75% of its demand to a remarkable 50% by the end of 2025.