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The real cost of conventional energy sources and opportunities for renewables

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With a group of colleagues at ERG we wrote this column (in spanish!) in Chilean online newspaper El Mostrador this Saturday 10/26.

In brief, by using a 2009 study that calculated the health costs for thermal sources’ emissions in Chile, we estimate the overall social cost that the current mix imposes in the country. We compare that with the additional cost of meeting demand with a much cleaner alternative, based in my results with SWITCH-Chile, a long term optimal expansion model for the electric system. We estimate that the country will save at least USD 500 million each year by following a reduced emissions path; this doesn’t include additional benefits stemming from renewable energy adoption such as less imported fuels, reduced dependence, more jobs, and other effects in GDP as suggested by NRDC in this article.

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