The deployment of renewable energy sources is reviewed in this research showing the importance that they have reached in most countries. The International Energy Agency has insisted on the importance of their promotion all over the world, considering that at least one renewable energy source is available in all countries. The aim of this chapter is to show that although renewables are an effective alternative to the use of fossil fuels, there are other important positive externalities. As the fossil fuels are the main source of greenhouse emissions and other air pollutants, the negative effects that they have on human health, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, have been recently shown in many studies. When renewables contribute to reducing the use of fossil fuels and associated air pollutant emissions, they have a positive effect on human health. Therefore, policy makers have to take into consideration all these positive externalities of renewable sources, when evaluating the possibility of their promotion. However, this evaluation should also take into consideration that not all renewable energy sources have equivalent positive effects. Our final conclusion is that governments should be supported by recent research when deciding the most appropriate energy mix for a country.
Part of the book: Renewable Energy