Overview of Water Use in Renewable Electricity Generation
Jia, Xuexiu
Klemeš, Jirí Jaromír
Tan, Raymond R.

How to Cite

Jia X., Klemeš J.J., Tan R.R., 2021, Overview of Water Use in Renewable Electricity Generation, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 89, 403-408.


This work provides an overview of water resources' roles in the development of renewable energy-fueled electricity generation. It shows that the specific water consumptions of electricity from renewable sources vary significantly due to the setting of the system boundary, data availability, and data quality. Hydroelectricity has a relatively more significant water consumption compared with other renewable energy sources due to surface evaporation. The current studies mainly cover the water consumption of the operational stages of renewable energies. The unit water consumption of hydropower ranges from 0.2 to 245 L/kWh, for solar PV ranges from zero to 0.11 L/kWh, wind power from 0 to 0.64 L/kWh, and geothermal from 2.5 to 6.8 L/kWh. Future studies should put effort to provide a unified and comparable database of renewable energy-related water consumption and water pollutant generation. An implication is that renewable energy generation planning should account for local natural conditions, particularly water availability.