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Center for Policy Research


An 80x30 Clean Electricity Standard: Carbon, Costs, and Health Benefits

Charles Driscoll, Kathy Fallon Lambert, Peter Wilcoxen, Armistead Russell, Dallas Burtraw, Maya Domeshek, Qasim Mehdi, Huizhong Shen & Petros Vasilakos

Clean Energy Futures, July 2021

Peter Wilcoxen

Peter Wilcoxen

Professor Pete Wilcoxen and members of the Clean Energy Futures team released a report titled "An 80x30 Clean Electricity Standard: Carbon, Costs, and Health Benefits." The report analyzes the energy, economic, environmental and health outcomes of an illustrative clean energy standard (CES) design that reaches 80 percent clean electricity by 2030, and offers important information on the costs and benefits of such a policy.

The analysis is the first to map at a county scale the changes in air quality and related health benefits for the lower 48 states. It compares an 80×30 policy scenario to a range of alternative policies for reducing carbon from the energy sector and finds it is the top performer in terms of net climate benefits (climate benefits minus costs) and total health benefits. The analysis is also the first to look at the health impacts of projected air quality improvements by racial and ethnic groups.

The analyses in the brief were conducted over the last two years as part of the Clean Energy Futures project, an independent collaboration with researchers from Syracuse University; the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Georgia Institute of Technology; and Resources for the Future.