Webinar: Water for Energy -- Connections, Collisions, and Opportunities

The 2012 drought in America brought to light the challenges we face when there isn't sufficient water to cool our nation's power plants. Conventional fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants require water to cool the steam they generate to make electricity. In 2005, power plants accounted for over 40 percent of all freshwater withdrawn in the U.S. Many power plants need a huge, steady supply of water to operate, and in hot dry summers, that water can become hard to secure.

On October 18, 2012, the Union of Concerned Scientists hosted a webinar discussion on the challenges and opportunities for electricity production in a water-constrained future.

The webinar featured:

Camille Calimlim, committee staff, Water and Power Subcommittee, U.S. House of Representatives, who discussed the energy-water policy landscape and opportunities, including the Energy and Water: Connection and Conflict report prepared by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) for the Committe on Natural Resources.

John Rogers, senior energy analyst and co-manager of the Energy and Water in a Warming World Initiative (EW3), Union of Concerned Scientists, who presented on current power plant water use and highlighted the findings from the EW3 report, Freshwater Use by U.S. Power Plants: Electricity's Thirst for a Precious Resource.

C. Adam Schlosser, principal research scientist and assistant director of science research in the Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who discussed the water implications of an 80 percent renewable energy future as articulated in the NREL Renewable Electricity Futures Study for which he was a lead author.


Last revised date: October 23, 2012

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