Improving Air Quality with Energy Storage: A New Deployment Strategy for Public Health and Environmental Equity

In deploying energy storage and similar emerging clean energy technologies, an import societal benefit has been largely overlooked – public health. In this webinar, Dr. Elena Krieger explores this topic by presenting the research and findings of PSE’s recent journal article published in Energy Policy, “A framework for siting and dispatch of emerging energy resources to realize environmental and health benefits: Case study on peaker power plant displacement.”

The article describes a new approach to the siting and dispatch of energy storage and demand response resources. It makes a strong case for policy-driven clean energy deployment strategies based on impacts to air pollution, human health, and environmental justice. Specifically, our research presents a case study modeling storage, demand response, and other technologies to displace peaker power plants in California, the highest-rate marginal emitters on the state’s grid.

This is doubly important when considering the impacts on low-income communities. Studies have repeatedly found that power plants are disproportionately located near low-income communities and communities of color. In fact, we found that more than 80 percent of the peaker plants they identified in California were located in more disadvantaged communities. Due to the localized effects of air pollutants, there is a direct correlation between living near power plants and adverse health effects, with the heaviest health burdens falling on these disadvantaged communities.

Download the PDF of Dr. Krieger’s slideshow.