Accounting for Environmental Benefits
Renewable energy systems are not just another way for investors to make a profit, although up to this point in the book we have treated them as such. Relative to power systems based on fossil fuels, renewable power systems decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and decrease toxic emissions to the environment. Sustainable technologies of types other than power systems also aim to reduce the toxic effects of human activity. Such benefits to the environment, which impact present and future human life, should count for something in the financial evaluation of sustainable technologies.
Our approach in this chapter is to put a financial value on the environmental benefits of sustainable technologies ...