IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spa/wpaper/2021wpecon04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Health Benefits of Solar Power Generation: Evidence from Chile

Author

Listed:
  • Nathaly M Rivera
  • Cristobal Ruiz Tagle, Elisheba Spiller

Abstract

Renewable energy can yield social benefits through local air quality improvements and their subsequent effects on human health. We estimate some of these benefits using data gathered during the rapid adoption of large-scale solar power generation in Chile over the last decade. Relying on exogenous variation from incremental solar generation capacity over time, we find that solar energy displaces fossil fuel generation (primarily coal-fired generation) and curtails hospital admissions, particularly those due to lower respiratory diseases. These effects are noted mostly in cities downwind of displaced fossil fuel generation and are present across all age groups. Our results document the existence of an additional channel through which renewable energy can increase social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathaly M Rivera & Cristobal Ruiz Tagle, Elisheba Spiller, 2021. "The Health Benefits of Solar Power Generation: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2021_04, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  • Handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2021wpecon04
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.repec.eae.fea.usp.br/documentos/Rivera_Tagle_Spiller_WP04.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eva Arceo & Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2016. "Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 257-280, March.
    2. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2016. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 350-366, May.
    3. Coneus, Katja & Spieß, Christa Katharina, 2010. "Pollution exposure and infant health: Evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-079, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    5. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030.
    6. Duncan S. Callaway & Meredith Fowlie & Gavin McCormick, 2018. "Location, Location, Location: The Variable Value of Renewable Energy and Demand-Side Efficiency Resources," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 39-75.
    7. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
    8. Daniel T. Kaffine, Brannin J. McBee, and Jozef Lieskovsky, 2013. "Emissions Savings from Wind Power Generation in Texas," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    9. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
    10. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
    11. Matthew Neidell, 2009. "Information, Avoidance Behavior, and Health: The Effect of Ozone on Asthma Hospitalizations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    12. Erin Baker & Meredith Fowlie & Derek Lemoine & Stanley S. Reynolds, 2013. "The Economics of Solar Electricity," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 387-426, June.
    13. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2009. "Air pollution and infant health: Lessons from New Jersey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 688-703, May.
    14. Janet Currie & Joshua Graff Zivin & Jamie Mullins & Matthew Neidell, 2014. "What Do We Know About Short- and Long-Term Effects of Early-Life Exposure to Pollution?," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 217-247, October.
    15. Kopas, Jacob & York, Erin & Jin, Xiaomeng & Harish, S.P. & Kennedy, Ryan & Shen, Shiran Victoria & Urpelainen, Johannes, 2020. "Environmental Justice in India: Incidence of Air Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    16. Kevin Novan, 2015. "Valuing the Wind: Renewable Energy Policies and Air Pollution Avoided," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 291-326, August.
    17. Edenhofer, Ottmar & Hirth, Lion & Knopf, Brigitte & Pahle, Michael & Schlömer, Steffen & Schmid, Eva & Ueckerdt, Falko, 2013. "On the economics of renewable energy sources," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages 12-23.
    18. Fell, Harrison & Linn, Joshua, 2013. "Renewable electricity policies, heterogeneity, and cost effectiveness," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 688-707.
    19. Galetovic, Alexander & Muñoz, Cristián M., 2011. "Regulated electricity retailing in Chile," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6453-6465, October.
    20. Joshua Linn & Erin Mastrangelo & Dallas Burtraw, 2014. "Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 97-134.
    21. Spencer Banzhaf & Lala Ma & Christopher Timmins, 2019. "Environmental Justice: The Economics of Race, Place, and Pollution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 185-208, Winter.
    22. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Reed Walker, 2016. "Airports, Air Pollution, and Contemporaneous Health," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 768-809.
    23. Linn, Joshua & Muehlenbachs, Lucija, 2018. "The heterogeneous impacts of low natural gas prices on consumers and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-28.
    24. Nathaly M. Rivera, 2020. "Is Mining an Environmental Disamenity? Evidence from Resource Extraction Site Openings," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 75(3), pages 485-528, March.
    25. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," Working Papers 0406, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    26. Holladay, J. Scott & LaRiviere, Jacob, 2017. "The impact of cheap natural gas on marginal emissions from electricity generation and implications for energy policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 205-227.
    27. Joseph A. Cullen & Erin T. Mansur, 2017. "Inferring Carbon Abatement Costs in Electricity Markets: A Revealed Preference Approach Using the Shale Revolution," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 106-133, August.
    28. Joseph Cullen, 2013. "Measuring the Environmental Benefits of Wind-Generated Electricity," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 107-133, November.
    29. Harrison Fell & Daniel T. Kaffine, 2018. "The Fall of Coal: Joint Impacts of Fuel Prices and Renewables on Generation and Emissions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 90-116, May.
    30. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "Control Function Methods in Applied Econometrics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 420-445.
    31. Christopher R. Knittel & Konstantinos Metaxoglou & Andre Trindade, 2015. "Natural Gas Prices and Coal Displacement: Evidence from Electricity Markets," NBER Working Papers 21627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Guidetti, Bruna & Pereda, Paula & Severnini, Edson R., 2020. "Health Shocks under Hospital Capacity Constraint: Evidence from Air Pollution in Sao Paulo, Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 13211, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    33. Spiller, Elisheba & Sopher, Peter & Martin, Nicholas & Mirzatuny, Marita & Zhang, Xinxing, 2017. "The environmental impacts of green technologies in TX," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 199-214.
    34. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-1739, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dardati, Evangelina & de Elejalde, Ramiro & Giolito, Eugenio, 2021. "On the Short-Term Impact of Pollution: The Effect of PM 2.5 on Emergency Room Visits," IZA Discussion Papers 14599, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wes Austin & Stefano Carattini & John Gomez Mahecha & Michael Pesko, 2020. "Covid-19 Mortality and Contemporaneous Air Pollution," CESifo Working Paper Series 8609, CESifo.
    2. Gillingham, Kenneth & Huang, Pei, 2021. "Racial disparities in the health effects from air pollution: Evidence from ports," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-058, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Brehm, Paul, 2019. "Natural gas prices, electric generation investment, and greenhouse gas emissions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    4. Wang, Yangjie & Chen, Xiaohong & Ren, Shenggang, 2019. "Clean energy adoption and maternal health: Evidence from China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    5. Fukushima, Nanna, 2021. "The UK Clean Air Act, Black Smoke, and Infant Mortality," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 587, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Felix Holub & Laura Hospido & Ulrich J. Wagner, 2020. "Urban air pollution and sick leaves: evidence from social security data," Working Papers 2041, Banco de España.
    7. He, Guojun & Fan, Maoyong & Zhou, Maigeng, 2016. "The effect of air pollution on mortality in China: Evidence from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 18-39.
    8. Dolores de la Mata & Carlos Felipe Gaviria Garces, 2019. "Exposure to Pollution and Infant Health: Evidence from Colombia," CINCH Working Paper Series 1902, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    9. Harrison Fell & Daniel T. Kaffine, 2018. "The Fall of Coal: Joint Impacts of Fuel Prices and Renewables on Generation and Emissions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 90-116, May.
    10. Ziebarth, N. R. & Schmitt, M. & Karlsson, M., 2013. "The short-term population health effects of weather and pollution: implications of climate change," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    11. Alan Barreca & Karen Clay & Joel Tarr, 2014. "Coal, Smoke, and Death: Bituminous Coal and American Home Heating," NBER Working Papers 19881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Guidetti, Bruna & Pereda, Paula & Severnini, Edson R., 2020. "Health Shocks under Hospital Capacity Constraint: Evidence from Air Pollution in Sao Paulo, Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 13211, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Nicholas J. Sanders, 2012. "What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker: Prenatal Pollution Exposure and Educational Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 826-850.
    14. Avraham Ebenstein & Maoyong Fan & Michael Greenstone & Guojun He & Peng Yin & Maigeng Zhou, 2015. "Growth, Pollution, and Life Expectancy: China from 1991-2012," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 226-231, May.
    15. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
    16. Rafiq, Shuddhasattwa & Rahman, Muhammad Habibur, 2020. "Healthy air, healthy mom: Experimental evidence from Chinese power plants," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    17. Timothy J Halliday & John Lynham & Áureo de Paula, 2019. "Vog: Using Volcanic Eruptions to Estimate the Health Costs of Particulates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(620), pages 1782-1816.
    18. Sanders, Nicholas J. & Stoecker, Charles, 2015. "Where have all the young men gone? Using sex ratios to measure fetal death rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-45.
    19. Resul Cesur & Erdal Tekin & Aydogan Ulker, 2017. "Air Pollution and Infant Mortality: Evidence from the Expansion of Natural Gas Infrastructure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 330-362, March.
    20. Walker Hanlon, 2018. "London fog: A century of pollution and mortality, 1866-1965," Working Papers 18019, Economic History Society.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coal-fired power plants; coal displacement; solar generation; power plants; pollution; morbidity; developing countries; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2021wpecon04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deuspbr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Pedro Garcia Duarte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deuspbr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.