Water Resources as Important Factors of the Energy Transition at the Local and Global Level

  • Project no. 150821
  • Duration 08/2017 - 07/2020

Water and energy are two priority areas of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and although they are mentioned as separate themes many interconnections between the water and energy goals exist. In the context of the transition towards a more sustainable energy system it is therefore important to understand the potential conflicts and synergies between energy and water aspects.

Accordingly, the aim of the project WANDEL, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding initiative GROW and coordinated by the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) at the University of Kassel, is to explore whether limitations in the availability of water can accelerate or delay the global energy transition. To answer these two overarching research questions interlinked analysis on the regional and on the global level will be conducted.

Based on the overall objective the aim of sub-project carried out by the Wuppertal Institute is to examine the linkages between water resources and energy technologies at the local level by conducting a case study on solar thermal power plants (CSP) in Morocco. For this purpose, the water requirements of CSP technology options are analysed in relation to the development of regional water availability and demand in the Drâa Valley (Morocco), giving particular attention to the potential socio-economic development paths.

On the global level the objective of the project is to address the direct and indirect water requirements of selected energy technologies in relation to the available water resources. To this end, the Wuppertal Institute conducts a meta-analysis of energy scenarios in order to determine where and to which extent selected technologies are expected to be deployed in the future. In a second step, demand-side water scenarios are generated by linking the potential energy capacity installations with their direct water consumption, so that the water consumption can be allocated.