Energy Sector Adaptation in Response to Water Scarcity

Fricko O, Parkinson S, Johnson N, Strubegger M, van Vliet MTH, & Riahi K (2017). Energy Sector Adaptation in Response to Water Scarcity. In: IIASA Institutional Evaluation 2017, 27 February-1 March 2017, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria.

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Abstract

Integrated assessment models (IAMs) have largely ignored the impacts of water scarcity on the energy sector and the related implications for climate change mitigation. However, significant water is required in the production of energy, including for thermoelectric power plant cooling, hydropower generation, irrigation for bioenergy, and the extraction and refining of liquid fuels. With a changing climate and expectations of increasing competition for water from the agricultural and municipal sectors, it is unclear whether sufficient water will be available where needed to support water-intensive energy technologies (e.g., thermoelectric generation) in the future. Thus, it is important that water use and water constraints are incorporated into IAMs to better understand energy sector adaptation to water scarcity.
The MESSAGE model has recently been updated with the capability to quantify the water consumption and withdrawal requirements of the energy sector and now includes several cooling technologies for addressing water scarcity. These new capabilities have been used to quantify water consumption, water withdrawal, and thermal pollution associated with pre-existing climate change mitigation scenarios. The current study takes the next step by introducing water constraints into Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios to examine whether and how the energy sector can adapt to water scarcity.
This study will provide insight into the following questions related to energy sector adaptation to water scarcity:
How does the energy sector adapt to water scarcity in different regions?
What are the costs associated with adaptation to water scarcity?
How do adaptations to constraints on water withdrawal and consumption differ?
Is climate mitigation limited under water scarcity (esp. with low deployment of wind/ solar)?
How important are dry cooling and seawater cooling for addressing water scarcity and climate mitigation?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Water (WAT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2017 09:04
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 09:04
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/14461

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