Quantifying Impacts of Renewable Electricity Deployment on Air Quality and Human Health in Southeast Asia Based on AIMS III Scenarios

19 October 2022


  • Previous studies indicate that 130,000–320,000 excess deaths occur from exposure to outdoor PM2.5 pollution in the ASEAN region, about 10% of which are attributed to the energy sector, and the excess mortality attributable to power generation is expected to greatly increase in the coming decades.
  • Using power generation data from the AIMS III scenarios and power sector emissions standards for the ASEAN countries, our analysis projects an increase in the emissions of all estimated pollutants because the generation is still coal-driven in 2040.
  • There is less coal-powered generation in 2040 in the High RE Target, ASEAN RE Target, and Optimum RE scenarios than in the Base scenario. These scenarios involve reductions in excess mortality relative to the Base scenario. Of all the scenarios considered, the High RE Target scenario is estimated to yield the highest mortality reductions through reducing exposure to outdoor air pollution: more than 16,000 lives each year by 2040.
  • Public health impacts are estimated to increase from 2025–2040 if the ASEAN nations were to follow the power sector transition based on any of the four AIMS III scenarios. This is largely because the AIMS III scenarios project that coal will still be central to the electricity sector in 2040. Switching to more efficient emissions control technologies is one way to reduce health impacts.



Renewable Energy


Vikram Ravi (NREL), Sumil Thakrar (UMN), Garvin Heath (NREL), Akbar Dwi Wahyono (ACE), Beni Suryadi (ACE), Greg Avery (NREL), and Jason Hill (UMN)

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