The aim of this study is to analyze future changes of freshwater needs in the electricity production sector and to identify hotspots where future cooling water needs may not be fulfilled.
To address the goals of this study, a scenario and simulation approach was selected to estimate water availability and water uses in Europe up to 2050. Two SCENES scenarios were selected to cover a wide range of water‐related driving forces including future developments in population, GDP, electricity production, technological and structural changes, as well as climate change.
Depending on the scenario, water withdrawals in the electricity production would increase by 68 percent or decrease by 33 percent between 2000 and 2050. At the same time, water availability at low flow (Q90) would decrease because of climate change in southern and south‐eastern parts of Europe as well as in Ireland and the UK. Especially in these regions hotspots were identified where water is scarce and where growing water demand promotes water stress that may cause economic losses.
This paper presents hotspots of the thermal electricity production sector in Europe. In these regions water shortages were expected to lead to water stress due to climate change accompanied by increasing water demand for cooling purposes and by competing water use sectors.
Flörke, M., Teichert, E. and Bärlund, I. (2011), "Future changes of freshwater needs in European power plants", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 89-104. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777831111098507Download as .RIS
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