Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 501702
Title Energy sector water use implications of a 2°C climate policy
Author(s) Fricko, Oliver; Parkinson, Simon C.; Johnson, Nils; Strubegger, Manfred; Vliet, Michelle van; Riahi, Keywan
Source Environmental Research Letters 11 (2016)3. - ISSN 1748-9326
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/034011
Department(s) Earth System Science
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract

Quantifying water implications of energy transitions is important for assessing long-term freshwater sustainability since large volumes of water are currently used throughout the energy sector. In this paper, we assess direct global energy sector water use and thermal water pollution across a broad range of energy system transformation pathways to assess water impacts of a 2°C climate policy. A global integrated assessment model is equipped with the capabilities to account for the water impacts of technologies located throughout the energy supply chain. The model framework is applied across a broad range of 2°C scenarios to highlight long-term water impact uncertainties over the 21st century. We find that water implications vary significantly across scenarios, and that adaptation in power plant cooling technology can considerably reduce global freshwater withdrawals and thermal pollution. Global freshwater consumption increases across all of the investigated 2°C scenarios as a result of rapidly expanding electricity demand in developing regions and the prevalence of freshwater-cooled thermal power generation. Reducing energy demand emerges as a robust strategy for water conservation, and enables increased technological flexibility on the supply side to fulfill ambitious climate objectives. The results underscore the importance of an integrated approach when developing water, energy, and climate policy, especially in regions where rapid growth in both energy and water demands is anticipated.

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