In March of 2010, Gal Luft – Executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security – in his blog post, “Water Crisis, Energy Crisis, Vicious Cycle”, wrote:
“It is widely accepted that water shortage can — and most probably will — lead to military conflict, mass migration, food shortages and a host of other security challenges. What is less appreciated is the connection between water and energy and how intertwined are the energy challenge and the water challenge we are facing today globally.”
Energy alternatives have suffered a lot of bad press and have not been taken seriously. The hoax perpetrated by the conservative right (supported by the oil & gas industries) has seemed to convince many people that climate change is not real. Fear has replaced thought once again. The fear instilled in people that we will not get enough energy or the fear that hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs once they are no longer needed to subject themselves to the life threatening jobs that require them to go deep underground to extract filthy coal.
So, forget climate change and focus on the water crisis. While we can’t see underground to watch the aquifers being drilled deeper and deeper, the statistics of the water crisis can be seen and felt. The droughts are at an all time high and there are numerous pictures in this country alone that can attest to the crisis. The bathtub ring on Lake Mead is enough to curl your hair!
So, why not look at energy alternatives as a way to alleviate the water crisis? The infographic below shows just how much solar energy saves in water over the other popular forms of energy:
The above infographic is not quite accurate if not looking at CPV. Solar technologies do use a modest amount of water. All kinds of thermal power plants use heat to boil water into steam, which runs a steam turbine to generate electricity. The exhaust steam from the generator must be cooled prior to being heated again and turned back into steam. This cooling can be done using either a wet, dry or hybrid method. Solar thermal plants use more water than the solar photovoltaic panels.
However, a new solar thermal plant recently opened in the Mojave Desert that it utilizing dry cooling to reduce water usage to next to nothing.
Check out the water use for the various power plants below.
Finally, getting away from energy and water, below is a linkto an article that is fun at the same time amazing! The future could bring many more ways to conserve while also contributing. Read and enjoy “Solving the Water and Energy Crisis…in One Swell Poop”, by Gar Smith.