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S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

A nationwide clean power standard requiring 80% of U.S. electricity to come from carbon dioxide-free sources by 2030 would save hundreds of thousands of lives and sharply improve air quality while combatting climate change, according to a new study released July 12.

The analysis, which the authors claimed was the first to map the air quality and related health benefits for an 80%-by-2030 U.S. clean electricity standard, could underpin the Biden administration’s efforts to enact the policy through Congress.

“The estimated net benefits of our illustrative 80×30 CES [clean electricity standard] are large, widespread, and far outweigh the costs,” concluded a report from the Clean Energy Futures project, an independent collaboration with researchers from Syracuse University; Harvard T.H. Chan Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment; Georgia Institute of Technology; and Resources for the Future.

Using “conservative assumptions,” the study estimated an 80%-by-2030 CES would generate $637 billion in climate-related benefits by 2050. The estimated benefits were calculated using a constant real social cost of carbon of $50 per metric ton in 2019 dollars and a 5% discount rate.

Those benefits would far outweigh projected costs of $342 billion, which includes expenses related to building new capital projects, retrofitting existing power plants and operating energy facilities.

[Molly Christian]

More: Report projects major health, air quality benefits from US clean power standard

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