A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Global scenarios for significant water use reduction in thermal power plants based on cooling water demand estimation using satellite imagery

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Lohrmann Alena, Farfan Javier, Caldera Upeksha, Lohrmann Christoph, Breyer Christian
Publisher: Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)
Publication year: 2019
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Nature Energy
Volume number: 4
Start page: 1040
End page: 1048
Number of pages: 9
ISSN: 1520-8524
eISSN: 2058-7546
JUFO-Level of this publication: 3
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe202001273556


Connecting research on the water demand of power plants with mitigation strategies for energy-based water use is an important step to ensure global water and energy security, and thus provide more sustainable use of both. Here, we assess the water footprint of 13,863 thermal power plants units with a total active capacity of 4,182 GW worldwide and give an estimate of the current water demand for power production at four different levels—global, regional, country and river. Furthermore, we provide a projection for the energy transition period towards a net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050. In particular, we show that by following a ‘Best Policies Scenario’ the water consumption of global power plants can be decreased by about 98%, and water withdrawal by 95% by 2050. Therefore, the suggested pathway provides one potential solution to the problem of water depletion that results from the water-energy nexus.

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Last updated on 2020-20-03 at 10:03