Air pollution: are renewable energies a friend for our health?
Scientists demonstrated that renewable energies are not a solely factor to reduce global warming and greenhouse emissions, but it can also decrease up to 80% air pollution impact on our health by 2050.
A Study of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
In Germany, scientists conduct a study about the impact of renewable energies on our health. Several studies have already been undertaken on the health impact of air pollution.
In Postdam, the scientists of the Institute for Climate Impact Research used energy efficiency models to assess three scenarios of “decarbonization” of the energy sector by the middle of the century. They combine these calculations with human health indexes and analyses of emission levels throughout the life cycle of energy equipment. Their study was published in the review called Nature Communications.
Health is the main winner
Scenario, whereas the majority of energy is produced by renewable energy, mainly through by solar and wind power, could reduce the health effects of electricity production by 80% compared to the current status and economic systems.
Decarbonization would be beneficial for human beings and their respiration. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4.2 million people die prematurely each year from air pollution, caused mainly by fossil fuels usage.
Be aware of the impact on the environment
According to PIK models, this number could reach 6 million by 2050 if there would not undertake appropriate actions. However, if renewable energies become a majority in the next three years, the balance sheet might drop to one million. Thus, bioenergies (energy production by combustion of agricultural products) have the potential to be low-carbon, but risk causing negative effects on the environment. This energy, measured in kilowatt-hours, would require 100 times more land than the same energy produced by solar panels.
Available land is a scarce resource and the fact of rapid population growth may result in additional pressure on the planet. The solution is to reduce our electricity consumption in order to give a recess to the Earth.