(626b) Ancillary benefits of GHG mitigation in future Colorado electricity portfolio

Authors: 
Mousavi, B., University of Colorado Denver
Karunanithi, A. T., University of Colorado Denver

Colorado’s growing population and economy is resulting in significant increases in demand for energy. Recent legislations in Colorado have mandated 20% renewable electricity generation in the near future. In this context we have developed future energy scenarios to examine various resource portfolios for electricity generation. The MARKAL modeling framework is used in this study for investigating various scenarios of future electric generation technologies in Colorado. MARKAL is a model that determines the least cost pattern of technology investment while meeting the energy demand and external constraints. Electricity production in the Colorado is affected by many factors, but not all consequences of electricity generation are considered during the capacity expansion of power plants. The pollutants which are emitted from power plants with consideration of life cycle assessment affect both global climate and local air quality. This study tries to calculate the marginal damages of criteria pollutant emissions for each county of Colorado by AEEP model. By consideration of each county population, power plants locations and monetizing the damages associated to criteria pollutants for each scenario that is proposed by MARKAL software. This study shows that consideration of avoided criteria pollutant damages in a renewable energy dominated scenarios is usually more cost effective than non-renewable scenarios. The results show that implementing renewable energy in electricity generation has not only global benefits like GHG reduction but also local benefits like reduction of lung and heart disease. Further, with consideration of high population rate of Colorado, the amount of health and social damages of criteria pollutants which averted by using renewable energy in this state is significant.