Thursday, June 16, 2016

The water footprint of energy

Water and energy are connected and highly interdependent - we need water for our energy systems and we need energy systems for our water. For example, in the United States, more freshwater (41 percent) is used to cool power plants than for any other use. From other side, about 8 percent of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating, and transporting water.
Fossil fuel power plants are super thirsty -a typical coal plant with a once-through cooling system withdraws between 70 and 180 billion gallons of water per year. In contrast, to generate 1 MWh of electricity, renewables like wind and solar power need just about 0.1 – 14 percent of the water that a coal plant would over their respective lifetimes. Read more at