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Localizing the water-energy nexus : the relationship between solar thermal power plants and future developments in local water demand

  • Water availability plays an important role in the expansion planning of utility-scale solar power plants, especially in the arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Although these power plants usually account for only a small fraction of local water demand, competition for water resources between communities, farmers, companies, and power suppliers is already emerging and is likely to intensify in future. Despite this, to date there has been a lack of comprehensive studies analyzing interdependencies and potential conflicts between energy and water at local level. This study addresses this research gap and examines the linkages between water resources and energy technologies at local level based on a case study conducted inWater availability plays an important role in the expansion planning of utility-scale solar power plants, especially in the arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Although these power plants usually account for only a small fraction of local water demand, competition for water resources between communities, farmers, companies, and power suppliers is already emerging and is likely to intensify in future. Despite this, to date there has been a lack of comprehensive studies analyzing interdependencies and potential conflicts between energy and water at local level. This study addresses this research gap and examines the linkages between water resources and energy technologies at local level based on a case study conducted in Ouarzazate, Morocco, where one of the largest solar power complexes in the world was recently completed. To better understand the challenges faced by the region in light of increased water demand and diminishing water supply, a mixed-method research design was applied to integrate the knowledge of local stakeholders through a series of workshops. In a first step, regional socio-economic water demand scenarios were developed and, in a second step, water saving measures to avoid critical development pathways were systematically evaluated using a participatory multi-criteria evaluation approach. The results are a set of water demand scenarios for the region and a preferential ranking of water saving measures that could be drawn upon to support decision-making relating to energy and water development in the region.show moreshow less

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Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Julia Terrapon-Pfaff, Sibel Raquel Ersoy, Thomas Fink, Sarra Amroune, El Mostafa Jamea, Hsaine Zgou, Peter ViebahnORCiDGND
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-76502
Year of Publication:2021
Language:English
Source Title (English):Sustainability
Volume:13
Issue:1
External link:https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010108
Divisions:Zukünftige Energie- und Industriesysteme
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
OpenAIRE:OpenAIRE
Licence:License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International