Investing in Renewable Energy

Noah Kittner, an assistant professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, examines the relationship between energy systems, low-carbon development and human health.

In two recent publications, he explores the ideal balance of wind, solar and hydropower in Myanmar and discusses financial compensation for solar energy generation in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“These studies strive to identify solutions where renewable energy can improve equity outcomes for communities across Southeast Asia,” said Kittner.

In Myanmar, which has the last free-flowing rivers in all of Asia, there is an ongoing struggle to balance development with natural conservation — and the top question now is how future large hydropower projects would impact people and the environment.

“We are so happy to have Gillings faculty like Noah shaping policies and programs on global environmental health,” says Suzanne Maman, associate dean for global health at the Gillings School. “The strong health equity lens that he brings to his work on alternative energy is critical in how we address the growing climate change challenges in low-resource settings.”

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