New wind power and solar energy installations displace the most carbon dioxide and air pollutants where they replace the coal-fired plants found predominantly in eastern and Midwestern states such as Indiana and Pennsylvania.
The benefits are much smaller in California and the US southwest, where cleaner gas-fired plants are more common.
Wind farms and solar installations are often located in places where they will have the least impact on climate and health, a report finds.
These renewable energies emit less carbon dioxide and air pollution than burning fossil fuels for electricity. But the windiest and sunniest places in the United States