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Page added on June 25, 2014

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Look How Much Water the Energy Sector Wastes

Look How Much Water the Energy Sector Wastes thumbnail

The U.S. Department of Energy has turned its focus to the water-energy nexus as the sectors start to see the impact of climate change.

In an effort to bring more integrated research across its programs, the DOE’s Water-Energy Tech Team issued a new report this month, The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities.

The findings are hardly novel. There are huge inefficiencies in how water is used and great regional variability. The Sankey diagram below shows the magnitude of water waste in the energy sector, particularly in thermoelectric power generation.

Click image to enlarge.

Thermoelectric generation is responsible for more than 40 percent of freshwater withdrawals and 4 percent of freshwater consumption in the U.S. More than 95 percent of marine withdrawals go to thermoelectric cooling, which includes nuclear, coal, gas, geothermal and CSP.

“Increased deployment of some energy technologies in the future, such as carbon capture and sequestration, could lead to increases in the energy system‘s water intensity,” the study authors state, “whereas deployment of other technologies, such as wind and solar photovoltaics could lower it.”

The opportunities will come not only in technology innovation in cooling technology, such as in air flow designs, water recovery, hybrid wet/dry systems and alternative cooling, but also in simply retiring older, once-through cooling systems. Once-through cooling systems delivered nearly 23 percent of electricity in the U.S. in 2011, but withdrew about two-thirds of the overall water used by power plants.

More than half of the coal-fired power plants in the U.S. use once-through cooling, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But that may change — and fast. Earlier this year, the EIA increased its short-term coal retirement prediction by 50 percent. It now sees 60 gigawatts of coal coming offline by 2016.

green tech media

10 Comments on "Look How Much Water the Energy Sector Wastes"

  1. Makati1 on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 8:28 pm 

    All to make weapons and other wastes.

    Add in the water and energy used by the rest of the world to make the junk we import and you can see how the US would be in trouble if all of those factories came home. There would not be enough oil or water to do it without causing huge problems.

  2. Davy, Hermann, MO on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 8:42 pm 

    Mak, we don’t need all that third world plastic junk and cheap cloths made in the P’s. Keep it please. We will be better off without it and find we can make plenty at home. We will keep our food too because we need to quit wasting our water. Good luck Makster when you are hungry.

  3. Kenz300 on Thu, 26th Jun 2014 6:55 am 

    Oil, coal and nuclear all require huge amounts of water to generate electricity.

    Wind and solar — not so much —– one more reason to speed the transition to safer, cleaner and cheaper alternative energy sources.


    Solar Industry Uniquely Poised to Help Fight Climate Change

  4. Makati1 on Thu, 26th Jun 2014 8:51 am 

    Actually, the Ps makes electronics, mines gold and grows fruits and veggies for export. The US accounts for about 18% of the Philippine exports, but that number is shrinking as Americans get poorer. The exports to it’s Asian neighbors is growing.

    Per Reuters: “Total (Ps) exports in the first three months of the year (2014) were up 6.5 percent from a year ago to $14.26 billion….”

    However, just for chuckles… ” Goldman Sachs estimates that by the year 2050, the Philippines will be the 14th largest economy in the world,…” Not that we will be here as an operating world economy by 2050, but…

    BTW: The US has been running a trade deficit for years with the PS and most of it’s other suppliers. No a good sign for the USSA’s economy.

  5. clueless on Thu, 26th Jun 2014 9:10 am 

    Davey, you’re a first class idiot. Majority of the plastic junks on earth are from your stupid nation. Even the plastic garbage floating on Pacific Ocean, which is as big as the entire state of Texas is from your idiot nation. 2/3 of these junks you claim were commissioned by your stupid nation, which majority was made in china then shipped back to your shameless country as garbage products for consumption of the amercan sheeple. LOL.
    First to go, without a single drop of H20….California…in less than 2 years California will be bone-dry. I live here (Ca), that’s why i know.
    BTW. as i stated before,english is my 2nd language, hence the perfect grammar. haha

  6. Makati1 on Thu, 26th Jun 2014 9:46 pm 

    clueless, no matter what language, you are more correct than most on here. Some are either government owned or so in denial that they could not see the truth if it hit them in the face.

  7. Davy, Hermann, MO on Thu, 26th Jun 2014 10:08 pm 

    Ooh, the Makster is buddying up to the Clue. That sounds like a match made in Heaven.

  8. Makati1 on Fri, 27th Jun 2014 6:25 am 

    Davey, did you forget your meds again today? Your psychosis is showing…

  9. Davy, Hermann, MO on Fri, 27th Jun 2014 6:31 am 

    OOOH Mak, tries to ignore me but comes out this morning swinging. Mak, Man’s up! Mak, live by the sword then die by the sword. If you think you can come on this board and do your continuous character assassination you have another thing coming. If, you notice when you speak reasonably I say nothing but when you engage in “bloodletting” I speak up. Your comment of support for a slime ball like clue shows where you hang your hat!

  10. Davy, Hermann, MO on Fri, 27th Jun 2014 6:44 am 

    Caught you in a lie Mak, we don’t like poor data here Mak! The p’s have a current account deficit.
    Plus the P’s are basically a low cost manufacturing center which is nothing more than re-export hub. Countries in this class are generally the poorest and are trying to support their overshoot by their comparative advantage with a poor population and overpopulation. This is nothing more than exploitation of the local population. This is something the IMF loves to see. The numbers look good but then travel to a Manila slum. Oh, that’s right you live next to one. You probably can see it out your high rise condo window. This will die with globalism. It is a good thing because it is precisely those dynamics that ruined China’s environment. The food exports from the P’s are from the big food giants exporting food from the P’s when the locals are hungry!. Try again Mak with your fantasy nirvana in the P’s

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