Co-Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Utah

Fisher, J., J. Levy, Y. Nishioka, P. Kirshen, R. Wilson, M. Chang, J. Kallay, C. James. 2010. Co-Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Utah: Air Quality, Health and Water Benefits. Synapse Energy Economics, Harvard School of Public Health, Tufts University for State of Utah Energy Office.

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Synapse was contracted by the State of Utah to estimate the water and health co-benefits of implementing energy efficiency (EE) and increasing renewable energy (RE) resources in Utah. This modeling-based exercise drew upon power system expertise at Synapse, civil engineering at Tufts University, and emissions-receptor modeling from the Harvard School of Public Health. New EE and RE resources reduced in-state demand, which reduced some aspects of in-state generation. Synapse and team members identified current and future water and health externalities from baseline generation and load growth; co-benefits are identified as the difference between externalities from baseline generation and the EE/RE scenarios. For this project, Synapse modified an in-house statistically-based hourly dispatch model, developed using publicly available historical generation and emissions data. Future build-out and resource replacement were explicitly modeled. Total generation and emissions from each scenario were used to estimate externalities and associated costs: water consumption was based on reported water use for unit-specific cooling systems; the externality cost of water was the regional marginal cost of water, derived from transaction data; mortality and morbidity were calculated from the formation, dispersion, and geographically distributed population uptake of primary and secondary particulates and ozone; externality values were based on the statistical value of life and healthcare costs for hospital visits and lost productivity.

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Project completed March 2010.