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2 Energy for Electricity
Pages 64-153

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From page 64...
... government. The Current Mix of Electricity Sources The total electricity generation in the United States during 2008 was 4.11 million gigawatt hours (GWh)
From page 65...
... Generation from solar PV was approximately 600 GWh. Rationale for Choice of Fuel Sources to Analyze This chapter provides detailed analyses of electricity generation from coal, natural gas, nuclear fission, wind, and solar.
From page 66...
... of electricity production. For electricity generation from nuclear fission, wind power, solar power, and biomass, our analysis summarizes effects reported   The committee uses the term "physical effects" broadly, to include biological and human health effects, in order to distinguish them from monetary effects.
From page 67...
... However, we have focused our efforts to monetize external costs for the categories of externalities that earlier studies found to be a significant component of damages. We extend the studies by measuring the externalities associated with local and global air pollution -- a significant component of the costs of electricity generation -- for individual coal-fired and gas-fired power plants in the United States.
From page 68...
... . The model calculates the damages associated with population exposures to these pollutants in six categories: health, visibility, crop yields, timber yields, building materials and recreation.
From page 69...
... For this study, though, the existence of regulations is of great importance, because in large part regulations are an attempt to reduce upstream and downstream damages from electricity generation, and they have substantially reduced these damages over time. We discuss only those damages that remain, with emphasis on those that can be quantified and monetized.
From page 70...
... Under the Clean Air Act, electric utilities are regulated at both the state and federal levels. The Clean Air Act requires states to formulate state implementation plans (SIPs)
From page 71...
... Sub-bituminous coal has as much lower sulfur content but also as much lower energy content than bituminous coal. In electricity generation, replacing a ton of bituminous coal requires about 1.5 tons of sub-bituminous coal (NRC 2007c)
From page 72...
... . Once mined, coal is typically transported to power plants, steel mills, and other commercial and industrial companies by rail.
From page 73...
... State uneditable Mines Number of bitmapped image Production Wyoming 20 453,568 Underground 1 2,822 Surface 19 450,746 West Virginia 282 153,480 Underground 168 84,853 Surface 114 68,627 Kentucky 417 115,280 Underground 201 69,217 Surface 216 46,064 Pennsylvania 264 65,048 Underground 50 53,544 Surface 214 11,504 Montana 6 43,390 Underground 1 47 Surface 5 43,343 Total, Top Five States 989 830,766 Underground 421 210,483 Surface 568 620,284 Total, United States 1,358 1,145,480 SOURCE: Adapted from EIA 2009c, p. 11, Table 1.
From page 74...
... During the latter 20th TABLE 2-5  Estimated Recoverable Reserves for the 10 States with the Largest Reserves by Mining Method for 2005 (million short tons) Underground Surface State Minable Coal Minable Coal Total Montana 35,922 39,021 74,944 Wyoming 22,950 17,657 40,607 Illinois 27,927 10,073 38,000 West Virginia 15,576 2,382 17,958 Kentucky 7,411 7,483 14,894 Pennsylvania 10,710 1,044 11,754 Ohio 7,719 3,767 11,486 Colorado 6,015 3,747 9,762 Texas -- 9,534 9,534 New Mexico 2,801 4,188 6,988 Total, Top 10 States 137,031 98,896 235,927 Total United States 152,850 114,705 267,554 SOURCE: EIA 2006a.
From page 75...
... Upstream Impacts and Externalities of Electricity Production from Coal Injuries and Illnesses in Coal-Mining Operations Although the gravity of occupational injuries and illnesses cannot be underestimated, the tradition in economics is to treat occupational injuries and deaths as job characteristics that are traded in labor markets rather than to treat them as externalities. In general, miners receive compensating wage differentials for the higher risks that they face on the job (Viscusi 1993)
From page 76...
... . Figure 2-3 In 2007, nonfatal injuries accounted for 220,284 WDL.
From page 77...
... To estimate fatal and nonfatal injuries attributable to coal transport via rail, we use revenue ton-miles15 as a quantifiable proxy for risk of railassociated injury. The reasoning for using revenue ton-miles as a proxy for risk of injury to railroad employees is that the number of employee hours, and hence the number of injuries, is more closely correlated with the revenue ton-miles measure than with train-miles or carloads.
From page 78...
... .17 This estimate is then multiplied by the percent of coal transported that is used for electric power generation (91%)
From page 79...
... In addition to its threats to human health and safety, underground mining can also have environmental externalities. Collapses or gradual subsidence above the mined void can affect surface and subsurface water flows.
From page 80...
... . Surface mining shares with underground mining the problem of mine waste disposal and acid mine drainage.
From page 81...
... . Upstream Emissions of Greenhouse Gases and Other Pollutants The upstream life cycle of power generation from coal includes many relevant activities such as construction of infrastructure and power plants (see, for example, Pacca and Horvath 2002)
From page 82...
... Downstream Externalities of Electricity Production from Coal Analysis of Current Air-Pollution Damages from Coal-Fired Power Plants The air-pollution emissions from fossil-fueled power plants constitute a significant portion of the downstream damages associated with electric power generation. In this section, we quantify the impacts on human health, visibility, agriculture, and other sectors associated with coal-fired powerplant emissions contributing to criteria pollutant formation.
From page 83...
... The use of CMAQ in regulatory impact analysis considers a limited number of scenarios in which emissions from many sources are simultaneously reduced as a result of the contemplated regulation. In contrast, we wish to consider separately the impacts of emissions from each power plant.
From page 84...
... They are the same concentration-response functions as those used in the EPA regulatory impact analyses; therefore, those functions have been vetted by the EPA Clean Air Science Advisory Committee. In particular, the impact of PM on premature mortality is calculated using the relationship between PM2.5 and all-cause mortality in Pope et al.
From page 85...
... Valuation As in most analyses of damages associated with criteria-pollutantforming emissions, health damages figure prominently in aggregate monetized damages -- especially premature mortality associated with PM2.5. The value of monetized damages is particularly sensitive to the VSL used to monetize cases of premature mortality.
From page 86...
... The categories of damages covered by APEEP and reflected in our estimates include premature mortality associated with PM2.5, cases of chronic bronchitis and respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions associated with PM2.5 and PM10, changes in crop and timber yields associated with ozone, damage to building materials from SO2, impairments to visibility associated with PM2.5 and recreation damages associated with ozone-related changes in forest canopy. As described in more detail in Appendix C, APEEP calculates the impact of a ton of emissions of each pollutant on ambient air quality, and the effect of the change in ambient air quality on population-weighted exposures to PM, ozone, SO2, and NOx.
From page 87...
... These are combined with data on emissions of these pollutants, by stack, from the 2005 NEI.22 This allows us to calculate the monetized damages associated with each pollutant at the plant level. Data from the Energy Information Administration on net generation of electricity from coal were used to compute monetized damages per kWh.
From page 88...
... . This reflects the size of SO2 and NOx emissions from coal-fired power plants and the damages associated with fine particles formed from SO2 and NOx.24 Directly emitted PM2.5 has very high damages per ton (see Table 2-8)
From page 89...
... The lowest decile represents the 40 plants with the smallest aggregate damages. The figure on the top of each bar is the average, across all plants, of damages associated with SO2, NOx, PM2.5, and PM10.
From page 90...
... Standard 5th 25th 50th 75th 95th Mean Deviation Percentile Percentile Percentile Percentile Percentile SO2 5,800 2,600 1,800 3,700 5,800 6,900 11,000 NOx 1,600 780 680 980 1,300 1,800 2,800 PM2.5 9,500 8,300 2,600 4,700 7,100 10,000 26,000 PM10 460 380 140 240 340 490 1,300 NOTE: All plants are weighted equally, rather than by the fraction of electricity they produce. ABBREVIATIONS: SO2 = sulfur dioxide; NOx = oxides of nitrogen; PM = particulate matter.
From page 91...
... is very skewed: There are many coal-fired power plants with low damages per kWh as well as a small number of plants with high damages. Using generation-weighted figures, the damages per kWh from the least damaging 5% of plants were very small: 94% lower than the average coal-fired plant and almost as low as the average damage per kWh at natural gas power plants (0.16 cents)
From page 92...
... 24% of the variation in damages per kWh.29 A ton of pollution emitted by plants located closer to population centers does more damage than the same ton emitted in a sparsely populated area; however, while plant location is important, coal plants are not located in counties with the highest damages per ton of SO2 in the United States. To summarize, the aggregate damages associated with criteria-pollutantforming emissions from coal-fired electricity generation in 2005 were approximately $62 billion (USD 2007)
From page 93...
... Most of the variation in damages per kWh can be explained by variation in emissions intensity across plants. In the case of SO2, which accounts for 85% of the damages associated with SO2, NOx and PM, over 80% of the variation in SO2 damages per kWh is explained by variation in pounds of SO2 emitted per kWh.
From page 94...
... . Sensitivity Analysis and Comparison with the Literature The results of any analysis of the damages associated with air-pollution emissions depend critically on (1)
From page 95...
... Emitted Electricity Generation of Electricity Generateda Electricity Capacity Pre-1950 5.51 0.65 0.50 1.31 0.92 1950-1959 5.07 15.11 12.56 1.20 14.32 1960-1969 4.56 21.27 19.65 1.08 20.51 1970-1979 4.28 39.31 38.76 1.01 38.13 1980-1989 3.53 21.74 25.97 0.84 23.84 Post-1990 3.15 1.92 2.56 0.75 2.27 b. 2002 SO2 Emissions and Performance of Coal-Fired Capacity by Vintage Power Plant Avg.
From page 96...
... A new NSPS for NOx was promulgated in 1998, but no new coal-fired generating facilities have been permitted since this new standard was issued. ABBREVIATIONS: SO2 = sulfur dioxide; NOx = oxides of nitrogen; lb/MWh = pound per megawatt-hour; Btu/kWh = British thermal unit per kilowatt-hour; CEM = continuous emission monitoring; NSPS, new source performance standards.
From page 97...
... (2009) estimated the criteria-air-pollutant damages associated with individual coal-fired power plants using a methodology similar to what is used here; however, their estimates of damages are much higher, ranging from $0.02 to $1.57 per kWh, with a median estimate of 14 cents per kWh (1999 USD)
From page 98...
... The regulatory impacts analysis of CAIR examined the benefits of reducing emissions of SO2 and NOx at power plants in 28 states in the eastern United States. The analysis predicted that in 2015 a reduction in SO2 emissions of approximately 4 million tons and a reduction in NOx emissions of approximately 1.5 million tons would reduce premature mortality by 17,000 deaths.
From page 99...
... The effect of CO2 and other GHG emissions on global warming are discussed in Chapter 5. Externalities Associated with Heavy-Metal Emissions of Electricity Generation from Coal Heavy metals are toxic both to the environment and to public health.
From page 100...
... Mercury from coal-fired power plants has been the subject of regulatory attention for some time. In March 2005, the EPA issued the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR)
From page 101...
... Estimating monetary damages is even more difficult because of the lack of information on willingness to pay for reducing the risk of subtle cognitive effects from mercury exposure. Coal Combustion By-Products By-products of burning coal to generate electricity include fly ash, bottom ash, flue gas desulfurization (FGD)
From page 102...
... 102 HIDDEN COSTS OF ENERGY TABLE 2-12  2007 Coal Combustion Product (CCP) Production and Use Survey Results FGD Material Bottom FGD Web CCP Categories Fly Ash Ash Bolier Stag Gypsum Scrubbers Total CCPs produced 71,700,000 18,100,000 2,072,695 12,300,000 16,600,000 by category Total CCPs used by 31,626,037 7,303,538 1,663,980 9,228,271 810,080 category Concrete/ 13,704,744 665,756 0 118,406 0 concrete products/grout Blended cement/raw 3,635,881 608,533 6,888 656,885 0 feed for clinker Flowable fill 112,244 0 0 0 0 Structural fills/ 7,724,741 2,570,163 158,767 0 97,610 embankments Road base/sub-base 377,411 802,067 20 0 0 Soil modification/ 856,673 314,362 169 0 0 stabilization Mineral filler in 17,223 21,771 63,729 0 0 asphalt Snow and ice control 0 736,979 44,367 0 0 Blasting grit/ 0 71,903 1,377,658 0 0 roofing granules Mining applications 1,306,044 165,183 0 0 299,793 Gypsum panel 0 0 0 8,254,849 0 products Waste stabilization/ 2,680,328 7,056 0 0 10,378 solidification Agriculture 49,662 2,546 0 115,304 9,236 Aggregate 135,331 806,645 450 70,947 0 Miscellaneous/other 1,025,724 530,574 11,932 11,880 393,063 Totals by CCP type/ 31,626,037 7,303,538 1,663,980 9,228,271 810,080 application Category use to 44.11% 40.35% 80.28% 75.03% 4.88% production rate (%)
From page 103...
... ENERGY FOR ELECTRICITY 103 FGD FBC Ash (not CCP FBC Ash CCP Production/ Material including Production/ combined with Utilization Totals Dry FGD ARIPPA FBC Utilization ARIPPA FBC (including ARIPPA Scrubbers Other Ash data) Totals Ash production FBC Ash data)
From page 104...
... Figure 2-9 color R01631 in sufficient quantities that they may pose public health and environmental concerns, if improperly managed. . . . Risks to human health and ecosys uneditable bitmapped image tems may occur when CCR-derived contaminants enter drinking water supplies, surface water bodies, or biota" (NRC 2006b, p.
From page 105...
... CCS is expected to be able to divert 80-90% of the CO2 generated at these power plants. However, an IGCC/CCS system has an energy penalty in that more energy is needed to run the system, and thus more coal is required per kWh of electricity generated.
From page 106...
... If IGCC and CCS technology is to be incorporated into the electricity sector, then ramp-up of siting, design, and construction of these plants needs to begin immediately for it to have any significant impact on air emissions within 20 years. A relevant scenario is that in a future with 80-90% capture of CO2 from coal-fired power, the upstream air emissions from mining and transportation will become much more significant, and possibly the largest TABLE 2-13  IPCC Range of Aggregate Costs for CO2 Capture, Transport, and Geological Storage Integrated Coal Pulverized Natural Gas Gasification Coal Power Combined Cycle Combined Cycle Plant Power Plant Power Plant Cost of electricity without CCS [carbon 43-52 31-50 41-61 capture and storage]
From page 107...
... Air-Pollution Damages from Coal-Fired Power Plants in 2030 The air-pollution damages associated with electricity generation from coal in 2030 depend on many factors. Aggregate damages depend on the growth in electricity demand and the extent to which coal is used to satisfy this demand, as opposed to other fuels.
From page 108...
... in 2005 to 3.65 lb in 2030. The corresponding figures for NOx are 3.42 lb/MWh in 2005 (weighted by electricity generation)
From page 109...
... are approximately $38 billion -- about 40% lower than in 2005. Damages per kWh (weighted by electricity generation)
From page 110...
... Figure 2-10 R01631 uneditable bitmapped image 1. Dry-gas production.
From page 111...
... with greater than 8,400,000 million cubic feet of storage in 2007. Upstream Externalities of Electricity Production from Natural Gas Natural Gas Exploration and Drilling Exploration and Development  Exploratory activities to locate natural gas reservoirs are similar to those for oil.
From page 112...
... includes all waters and particulate matter associated with the gas producing formation. Produced water is the primary waste from offshore platforms.
From page 113...
... Fracturing involves the use of either chemical explosives or water under pressure. Adverse impacts from the use of advanced hydraulic fracturing include air emissions and noise from the pressurized injection process.
From page 114...
... Electric power plants receive 98% of their natural gas from direct mainline pipeline deliveries; 2% is provided by local distribution companies. In 2007, natural gas transport incurred 2 fatalities and 7 injuries.
From page 115...
... SOURCE: BLS 2009a. Figure 2-12 R01631 uneditable bitmapped image FIGURE 2-13  Injuries and illnesses in U.S.
From page 116...
... Upstream GHG Emissions and Other Pollutants The upstream life cycle of power generation from natural gas includes many relevant activities such as construction of the infrastructure and power plants, but the most significant from a perspective related to GHG emissions and criteria-pollutant-forming emissions are the extraction and transportation of gas. These activities are generally fuel- and energyintensive, requiring combustion of fossil fuels for drilling and removing the gas from underground and delivering to the power plant.
From page 117...
... Together they accounted for 71% of electricity generation from natural gas in 2005.38 Damages related to emissions of NOx, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 were calculated for each of the 498 plants described above. Table 2-14 presents the distribution of monetized damages across the 498 natural-gas-fired power plants.
From page 118...
... Standard 5th 25th 50th 75th 95th Mean Deviation Percentile Percentile Percentile Percentile Percentile SO2 0.018 0.067 0.00013 0.00089 0.0022 0.006 0.075 NOx 0.23 0.74 0.0014 0.013 0.038 0.16 1.0 PM2.5 0.17 0.56 0.00029 0.007428 0.026 0.08 0.75 PM10 0.009 0.029 0.00003 0.00043 0.0014 0.0042 0.036 Total 0.43 1.2 0.0044 0.041 0.11 0.31 1.7 (unweighted) Total 0.16 0.42 0.001 0.01 0.036 0.13 0.55 (weighted by net generation)
From page 119...
... After sorting the plants according to damages, we found that the 10% of plants with highest damages produce 65% of the air-pollution damages from all 498 plants, and the lowest emitting 50% of plants within the lowest damages account for only 4% of aggregate damages. Each group of plants accounts for approximately one-quarter of sample electricity generation.
From page 120...
... As in the case of coal-fired power plants, variation in damages per kWh across natural gas plants is explained both by variation in emissions of pollution per kWh and also by variation in damages per ton pollutant. In the case of PM2.5, variation in pollution intensity and variation in damages per ton of PM2.5 explain equal amounts of the variation in PM2.5 damages per kWh.43 In contrast to coal plants, natural gas plants are located in areas of high marginal damages per ton of PM2.5 (Table 2-17)
From page 121...
... emitted per MWh accounts for 75% of the variation in NOx damages per kWh. To summarize, the aggregate damages associated with criteria-pollutantforming emissions from the facilities in our sample in 2005, which generated 71% of the electricity from natural gas, were approximately $0.74 billion, or 0.16 cents per kWh (2007 USD)
From page 122...
... Standard 5th 25th 50th 75th 95th Mean Deviation Percentile Percentile Percentile Percentile Percentile SO2 13,000 29,000 1,800 3,100 5,600 9,800 44,000 NOx 2,200 2,000 460 990 1,700 2,800 4,900 PM2.5 32,000 59,000 2,600 6,900 12,000 26,000 160,000 PM10 1,700 3,400 170 330 630 1,300 7,800 NOTE: All plants are weighted equally, rather than by the fraction of electricity they produce. ABBREVIATIONS: SO2 = sulfur dioxide; NOx = oxides of nitrogen; PM = particulate matter.
From page 123...
... Most of the variation in NOx damages per kWh can be explained by variation in emissions intensity across plants; however, for PM2.5, which constitutes over half of the monetized airpollution damages, variation in damages per ton of PM2.5 are as important in explaining variation in PM2.5 damages per kWh as differences in PM2.5 emissions intensity. Downstream CO2 Emissions from Electricity Production from Natural Gas The emissions of CO2 from gas-fired power plants are significant.
From page 124...
... Downstream Air-Pollution Damages from Gas-Fired Power Plants in 2030 Our analysis of the criteria air-pollution damages associated with electricity generation from natural gas in 2030 follows the analysis for coalfired electricity generation described earlier in the chapter. Specifically we ask how damages at the locations of the 498 facilities examined for 2005 would change if electricity generation were to increase at the rate predicted by the EIA and if emission intensities were to decline at rates consistent with EIA projections of emissions of SO2 and NOx from fossil fuel.
From page 125...
... By 1991, the United States had 111 nuclear power units.46 The highest number reached 45  The total power capacity of a thermal power plant is greater than its electric power capacity because it is less than 100% efficient in converting heat into electricity. The output of interest here is electric power.
From page 126...
... NRC 2008a. Figure 2-18 R01631 uneditable bitmapped image FIGURE 2-19  Locations of nuclear power reactor sites undergoing decommissioning in the United States.
From page 127...
... . Net electricity generation grew from 1.7 GWh in 1961 to 38.1 GWh in 1971, 272.7 GWh in 1981, 612.6 GWh in 1991, 768.8 GWh in 2001, and 806.5 GWh in 2007.
From page 128...
... From a rehabilitated mine, the pathways most significant over the long term are likely to be groundwater as well as surface water transport and bioaccumulation in animals and plants located at the mine site or associated water bodies (Australian Government 2009)
From page 129...
... U.S. laws do not classify uranium mining overburden as a radioactive waste, so its placement in radioactive waste disposal facilities is not required; however, EPA has the authority under various legal statues to protect the public and the environment from exposure to the hazardous and toxic characteristics of conventional (openpit and underground)
From page 130...
... are as follows: SO2: 22.5 PM2.5: 5.4 NOx: 33.9 Nonmethane volatile organic hydrocarbons: 7.7 Upstream Emissions of GHG Emissions and Other Pollutants It is often mentioned that nuclear power produces no air-pollutant emissions. Although that is generally true for the generation of nuclear power, the upstream part of the life cycle of nuclear power generation includes the mining, milling, and processing of uranium; transportation of the nuclear fuel; and construction of facilities, all of which entail criteriapollutant-forming emissions and GHG air emissions.
From page 131...
... . There have not been significant damages associated with release of radioactive materials from an operating nuclear power plant in the United States, but a few such accidents have occurred elsewhere.
From page 132...
... Limited access to LLRW disposal sites -- especially for Classes B and C waste -- is an inconvenience for nuclear power plants, particularly those that are due for rehabilitation, up-rating, or decommissioning, but it is not likely to be an immediate environmental, health, and safety hazard. The GTCC wastes from nuclear power plants come mainly from highly irradiated reactor components.
From page 133...
... Such a study would be extremely complex, given the considerable uncertainties, long timeframe, and severe impacts under certain scenarios. As of 2002, about 45,000 tons of spent fuel from nuclear power plants were in storage -- virtually all on-site.
From page 134...
... . Estimates of Aggregate Damages from Nuclear Power Plants We present here the results of two previous, studies of damages from nuclear power plants, by ExternE (EC 1995b)
From page 135...
... This section considers both updated versions of today's light-water reactors (LWRs) , and possible advanced reactors for the future.
From page 136...
... ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION FROM WIND Current Status of Wind Energy It is difficult to keep current with respect to the status of wind energy in the United States because it is increasing so rapidly. By the end of 2008, the total installed capacity48 in the United States was 25,170 MW (25.17 48  Installed capacity, also called nameplate capacity, is the maximum rated electricity output in MW.
From page 137...
... Brief History of Wind Energy The first utility-scale wind-energy plants in the United States began operation in 1981, with a total installed capacity of less than 10MW. The increase was rapid at first, reaching 1.2 GW by 1986, but then slowed, with total capacity of only 1.8 GW in 1998.
From page 138...
... Upstream Impacts of Wind Energy As noted at the beginning of this chapter, upstream effects of windenergy generation of electricity differ substantially from those of fossil-fuel
From page 139...
... On-site and Downstream Impacts of Wind Energy Ecological Effects Assessment of the ecological effects of generating electricity from wind has focused primarily on deaths of flying animals caused by interactions with turbines. Bird deaths attributable directly to wind generation of electricity probably are less than 100,000 per year in the United States (for example, NRC 2007b; Sovacool 2009b)
From page 140...
... However, the total installed wind-energy capacity when most recent reports were published was less than 12 GW, as compared with the more than 25 GW at the end of 2008. The rapid recent and projected future growth of windpowered electricity generation in the United States means that ecological assessments probably will need to be repeated.
From page 141...
... It appears likely to this committee that societal damages associated with the killing of bats by wind turbines are currently small by comparison with the aggregate damages associated with electricity generation by coal, natural gas, and the sum of all other sources. We agree with the NRC (2007b)
From page 142...
... PV- and CSP-system electricity generation by the electricity sector combined to supply 500 GWh in 2006 and 600 GWh in 2007, which constitute about 0.01% of the total U.S. electricity generation.
From page 143...
... . Studies in Europe that focused on previous generation technology estimated that producing solar power had 30% higher health impacts than natural gas, and GHG emissions of 180 g/kWh -- an order of magnitude higher than nuclear (EC 2003)
From page 144...
... Future Considerations for Solar Energy While solar PV and CSP are still developing technologies, they will be an increasing, but still small, part of electricity generation through 2020. Although solar power represents a very small fraction the U.S electricity generation, the energy potential of solar power is enormous.
From page 145...
... Some electricity generation uses either industrial biomass residues or municipal solid waste. In the case of energy crops, land could be used for other activities.
From page 146...
... Where energy crops or biomass residues are collected away from the location of the power plant, the cost of transportation limits how far from the power plant these low-energy-density feedstocks can be obtained. The impacts associated with transportation are similar to standard transportation impacts associated with vehicle miles driven in terms of air quality impacts, energy penalties, and accidents.
From page 147...
... However, because externalities associated with them appear to be very small by comparison with other aspects of electricity generation, the committee has not considered them in detail.
From page 148...
... Electricity from Coal and Natural Gas In the case of electricity generation from coal and natural gas, we have described the upstream externalities associated with fuel extraction and processing and have quantified the air-pollution damages associated with 52  We have not conducted a fully comprehensive life-cycle analysis of the external costs of electricity generation. In particular, we have estimated the external costs associated with power plant construction.
From page 149...
... What are criteria air-pollution damages from coal and natural gas plants likely to be in 2030? To examine damages in 2030 we increase electricity generation at the plants analyzed in 2005 by amount consistent with EIA forecasts of electricity production from coal and natural gas.
From page 150...
... Upstream impacts also include air emissions, including GHG emissions, but they are one or two orders of magnitude smaller than the emissions from coal-fired plants. Downstream burdens are largely confined to the release of heated water used for cooling -- such releases occur at any type of thermal plant -- and the production of low-level radioactive wastes (LLRW)
From page 151...
... Far more birds -- by at least three orders of magnitude -- are estimated to be killed by collisions with transmission lines, which are associated with all forms of electricity generation, than by collision with wind turbines. Therefore, although the detailed attribution of transmission-line-caused bird deaths by electricity source would be difficult, the committee concludes that bird deaths caused by wind-powered electricity generation are small compared with deaths from all other sources.
From page 152...
... • The health effects associated with toxic air pollutants, including specific components of PM, from electricity generation should be quantified and monetized. Because of the importance of VSL in determining the size of air-pollution damages, further exploration is needed of how willingness to pay varies with mortality-risk changes and with such population characteristics as age and health status.
From page 153...
... ENERGY FOR ELECTRICITY 153 • For solar, an important need is a life-cycle analysis of the upstream activities that quantifies the possible releases of toxic materials and their damages; another is a better understanding of the externalities that would accompany dedicating tracts of land to solar panels. • For transmission lines needed in a transition to a national grid system, better estimates are needed of both the magnitude and the spatial distribution of negative and positive externalities that would accompany this transition.


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