Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2019


There are many aspects of environmental influences that must be considered when evaluating power production methods. Over the course of a six-month literature review this study covered the environmental impact and sustainability of four different power production methods: coal, solar, wind, and nuclear. This study then used the information gathered to create a set of criteria by which each would be evaluated. The goal of this study was to determine the power production method that would deliver the most energy with the least amount of environmental impact. Further, the scope of this study is limited to the midwestern states of the USA. This is important because in the current environmental situation it is crucial that the power that our cities run on comes from a source that is doing as little damage to the environment as possible, essentially lengthening the life of our resources and ultimately our planet. By comparing the pollution created, land required, maintenance required, average annual power production, and miscellaneous other environmental impacts of the considered methods, it was determined that the nuclear power plant provided the most power with the least amount of environmental impact.