Renewable energy boost brings significant benefits to US

Increased use of renewable energy in the U.S. from 2019 to 2022 reduced emissions and improved air quality, yielding $249 billion in climate and health benefits.

Dharna Noor reports for The Guardian.


In short:

  • Wind and solar energy generation in the US increased by 55% from 2019 to 2022, providing 14% of the nation's electricity by 2022.
  • This shift cut carbon dioxide emissions by 900 million metric tons, equal to removing 71 million cars from the roads annually.
  • Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, harmful pollutants from fossil fuels, decreased by 1 million metric tons, resulting in $249 billion in climate and health benefits.

Key quote:

“These findings can help us target future wind and solar development to provide the greatest climate and health benefits.”

— Jeremiah Johnson, climate and energy professor at North Carolina State University

Why this matters:

The shift away from fossil fuels can play a critical role in decreasing the pollutants that contribute to smog, respiratory illnesses, and other health issues. For parents, this means fewer asthma attacks and respiratory problems for their children. For healthcare professionals, it translates into a reduction in air pollution-related conditions that burden the healthcare system. For scientists and regulators, these improvements provide valuable data supporting the efficacy of renewable energy policies and initiatives.

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