A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has determined that building renewable energy in the upper Midwest helps maximize environmental and health benefits.
Harvard researchers examined the effectiveness of renewable energy in 10 different regions of the United States to assess the environmental, social and economic impacts of the industry.
By comparing the cost-effectiveness and social and environmental benefits of different forms of energy across several regions of the United States, the researchers were able to determine the most effective regions.
The upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region were two of the most beneficial regions for all forms of renewable energy, according to Fast Company.
The study also looked into which forms of renewable energy were more effective in each of these regions. Solar energy was found to be the more beneficial in the Great Lakes region, while wind energy was most effective in the Midwest when compared to other locations.
The study compared the Midwest to California and found that the benefits for renewable energy are approximately four times greater in the Midwest.
The researchers determined that 1 megawatt hour of wind energy is worth approximately $113 in the Midwest and approximately $28 in California. Wind turbines were also found to have a more positive social effect in the Midwest.
The full study, published by IOPscience, is available here.