Title: The environmental impact of renewables

Authors: Laura Márquez-Ramos

Addresses: Department of Economics, Institute of International Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Campus del Riu Sec, 12071 Castellón de la Plana, Spain

Abstract: The aim of this research is two-fold. Firstly, to introduce a trilemma of a global sustainable energy system and, secondly, to perform a quantitative assessment of the effect of renewables on the environmental impacts of electricity generation, taking into account the existing divergences between developed and developing countries. In a multi-regional, multi-country, and dynamic approach, a regression analysis is performed to determine the causal relationship between renewables and environmental indicators on climate change, human toxicity, respiratory impacts, ionising radiation, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, land use and mineral and fossil resource depletion. Results show that renewable energy consumption significantly improves environmental outcomes in both developed and developing countries. As a result, renewables represent a suitable climate change mitigation option.

Keywords: renewables; environment; developed countries; developing countries; trilemma; climate change; human toxicity; respiratory impacts; ionising radiation; freshwater eutrophication; marine eutrophication; freshwater ecotoxicity; land use; mineral and fossil resource depletion; regression analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2018.090176

International Journal of Global Warming, 2018 Vol.14 No.2, pp.143 - 158

Received: 28 Sep 2015
Accepted: 11 Mar 2016

Published online: 05 Mar 2018 *

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