RJ Pierce, Tech Times
Renewable energy sources could, according to experts, theoretically make healthcare cheaper.
(Photo : Getty Images )
ArsTechnica reports that the benefits of using renewables would trickle off into healthcare for a simple reason: with fewer environmental pollutants, fewer people can get sick.
A team of researchers from Columbia and Duke Universities have looked at the implementation of renewable energy sources as a way of driving down medical costs. Apparently, their findings suggest that the positive effects of moving away from fossil fuels are almost immediate.
As per the initial findings, the United States government alone could save as much as trillions of dollars on healthcare costs if they keep pushing for a more widespread implementation of renewable energy plans.
The researchers’ numbers reveal that thousands of deaths can be prevented every year just by focusing on specific areas directly affected by fossil fuel consumption.
For one, a good drop in particulate pollution (i.e. dust, soot, and smoke) could lead to a massive decrease in the number of premature deaths by 2030.
Aside from the mortalities, the researchers also found out that their models reveal a significant drop in hospitalizations for lung illnesses and heart disease. Even dementia hospitalizations could be on the downward trend.
Read also: 38% of Europe’s Electricity Is from Renewable Sources: What can the US Learn from them?
How Are Renewable Energy and Healthcare Linked?
The healthcare industry in the United States accounts for roughly 10% of the entire country’s carbon emissions, writes AltEnergyMag. This, according to them, is part of the industry’s problem with sustainability.
But if more healthcare facilities such as hospitals start turning to renewables, the problem could be mitigated, they say.
(Photo : Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)
30 October 2021, Brandenburg, Jacobsdorf: Morning atmosphere above the wind energy park “Odervorland” (aerial view with a drone). The state of Brandenburg takes second place in the ranking of federal states with the largest installed capacity of wind turbines.
With renewable energy sources, these facilities will no longer have to turn to utility companies (who still largely use fossil fuels). They will be able to produce their own power and drive utility costs down.
This, in turn, can trickle into the medical bills of patients. Here’s an example.
A hospital which gets most of its electricity from renewable energy sources, such as solar windows, would be letting in more natural light. And in a study on PubMed, it has been found that natural light does have a direct effect in improving the overall mood of patients, while also reducing mortality.
With these improvements, patients have been shown to take less medication which leads to a shorter hospital stay–and reduced medical bills over time.
In simpler terms, renewable energy can literally make healthcare cheaper.
The Newfound Push for Renewables
The United States government is ramping up its efforts to wean the country off of fossil fuels, and the numbers for the first half of the year are showing promise.
According to RenewablesNow, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that domestic renewable energy production reached an all-time high during the first six months of 2021.
This is despite criticisms that the Biden administration’s plan for renewables was recently criticized as not financially feasible.
Related: Apple Achieves 100% Renewable Energy in Retail Stores, Offices, Data Centers, and Co-located Facilities in 43 Countries
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Written by RJ Pierce
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