Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently highlighted a little-discussed benefit of using renewables like wind and solar to produce electricity: Unlike most power sources, they require “almost no water.”

This is remarkable because thermoelectric power generation is the leading use of water in America. (That said, only three percent of power generation’s 133 billion gallons a day of water is considered “consumptive use,” as the U.S. Geological Survey says, “meaning it is lost to evaporation or blowdown during generation.”)

According to the latest U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data from 2015, 41 percent of the water used in America is for power generation. The next highest use is irrigation for agriculture, accounting for 37 percent of U.S. water use (and close to two-thirds of that is consumptive).

The Union of Concerned Scientists was raising this alarm in 2012 when the nonprofit created an infographic focused on the “ energy-water collision,” which “refers to the range of issues that can crop up where our water resources and our power sector interact.” That can include increased competition for dwindling water sources and problems when the water going into or out of power plants is too warm. […]

More about power plants, energy tech, and water saved by renewables:

Pioneering solar-powered greenhouse to grow food without fresh water

Global coal industry using as much water as a billion people each year

New Tests Reveal 15 out of 15 of Indiana’s Coal Ash Ponds Are Leaking

Surprising Solution To The Global Water Crisis: Solar Power

World Water Week: Water, ecosystems and human development | IUCN

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Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels
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Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels
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41 percent of the water use in America is for fossil fuels-based power generation. The next highest is irrigation for agriculture, which uses 37 percent.
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Resilience
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