March 22, 2011 - World Water Day: The Global Wind Energy Council calls on policy makers to take this into account in the critical and urgent decisions which will determine the character of the world’s power generation infrastructure for decades to come.
“As highlighted by the UN today, water scarcity is now a pressing issue in many parts of the world, and this will be exacerbated by climate change,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General. “Wind power can make a considerable contribution to conserving the world’s valuable water resources. Unlike most other power sources, which consume huge amounts of water that could be used much more productively for human consumption and agriculture, wind power generation does not use any water.”
Some 40% of the world’s population already live in water-stressed areas, and population growth and industrialisation will put further pressure on water availability. Given the high levels of water use in conventional power generation, increasing power demand will aggravate the situation. As a result, global water demand is expected to outstrip supply by 40% by 2030 under a business-as-usual approach.
“The global power sector is the largest industrial water user, and it has to start addressing the issue of water consumption, especially in the light of rising electricity demand, and increasing droughts created by the world’s changing climate. It is our responsibility to keep water consumption for power production to a minimum, so that this precious resource can be used more efficiently,” concluded Sawyer. “To mitigate climate change, the power sector not only needs to become CO2 free, but also dramatically reduce its water consumption. Wind energy provides a sustainable solution to both these challenges.”