Document Type : Research Note


1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Desert Areas Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


Rising energy production and consumption, particularly from fossil fuels, pose substantial threats to both global climate and human well-being. Conventional fossil fuel technologies, as primary energy sources in power plants, predominantly generate pollutants during power generation. Conversely, renewable energy technologies are anticipated to contribute to pollution primarily during equipment manufacturing. The combustion of traditional fuels gives rise to significant volumes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and hazardous substances, leading to escalated costs for individuals and the worldwide populace. External costs attributed to coal-fired power plants range from 4.0 to 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, nearly three times higher than those of gas-fired power plants, and multiple times greater than the expenditures linked with renewable energy technologies. The substitution of non-renewable fuels with clean energy sources stands as an efficacious approach to curtailing atmospheric pollution and the concomitant external expenses. On a global scale, an annual savings of up to 230 billion dollars is potentially attainable by achieving a 36% share of clean energy within the global energy mix by 2030. This topic has garnered the attention of policymakers worldwide. Consequently, this study undertakes an examination of the environmental ramifications and social costs associated with diverse energy sources.


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