AP3 carries out global simulations considering reference as well as low carbon energy and climate protection scenarios and describes the water consumption per year and region of the considered energy production systems. Future improvements in technology as well as potenzial new locations due to plant build-up are part of the analysis. Finally, global hot spots of excessive water use, conflicts between water demand of the energy production sector and water availability, usage competitions and ecological impacts are identified.
Energy supply chains and derived water footprints
To calculate the water footprint of the considered conventional and renewable energy production systems process chains displaying construction and operation of the respective plant including upstream chains and required material flows (mining, processing, production, disposal) are identified as a first step. Process chains are examined with regard to highly intensive in water use process steps, particulary interesting processes are placed spatially and technological water demand is compared to regional water availability, respectively. The overall focus is on mining and processing on highly intensive in water use raw materials with the potential to contribute to regional water scarcity. An essential results will be the definition of hot spots of excessive water usage per produced amount of energy unit along the global production and supply chains. At this point globally weighted comparative reference values for technologies displaying water consumption per kWh while considering local and regional conditions are determined.