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External costs of fossil electricity generation: Health-based assessment in Thailand


  • Sakulniyomporn, Songsak
  • Kubaha, Kuskana
  • Chullabodhi, Chullapong


Airborne pollutants from fossil fuel burning in electricity generation potentially contribute a number of consequent environmental impacts. In order to indicate the actual costs of energy, a so-called external cost has become of growing concerns internationally. This study aims to evaluate the external costs related to human health degradation resulting from Thai electricity generation produced from fossil fuel which operated during the period from 2006 to 2008. Impact Pathway Approach (IPA) was applied in the analysis. The advections of the criteria pollutants (SO2, NOX, and PM10) including secondary particulates (sulfate and nitrate aerosols) had been simulated using the CALMET/CALPUFF modeling system. Subsequently, the exposure-response functions (ERFs) were used to quantify the marginal damage to public health. Finally, costs of such damages were then estimated based on welfare economics. The results showed that the criteria pollutants caused significant damage to both premature mortality and morbidity. The average damage cost was totally about 600 million 2005 US$ annually which ranged between 0.05 and 4.17 US$ cent kWh−1 depending on fuel types. It implies that the external costs are significant to the determination of electricity market price. With the damage costs being included, the electricity price will reflect the true costs of the generation which will be beneficial to the society as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Sakulniyomporn, Songsak & Kubaha, Kuskana & Chullabodhi, Chullapong, 2011. "External costs of fossil electricity generation: Health-based assessment in Thailand," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 3470-3479.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:8:p:3470-3479
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2011.05.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Qingyu & Weili, Tian & Yumei, Wei & Yingxu, Chen, 2007. "External costs from electricity generation of China up to 2030 in energy and abatement scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4295-4304, August.
    2. Streimikiene, Dalia & Roos, Inge & Rekis, Janis, 2009. "External cost of electricity generation in Baltic States," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 863-870, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaldellis, J.K. & Kapsali, M., 2014. "Evaluation of the long-term environmental performance of Greek lignite-fired power stations," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 472-485.
    2. Yang, Xi & Teng, Fei & Wang, Gehua, 2013. "Incorporating environmental co-benefits into climate policies: A regional study of the cement industry in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1446-1453.
    3. Dai, C. & Cai, X.H. & Cai, Y.P. & Huang, G.H., 2014. "A simulation-based fuzzy possibilistic programming model for coal blending management with consideration of human health risk under uncertainty," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 1-13.


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