Title: An analysis of water consumption in Europe’s energy production sector: The potential impact of the EU Energy Reference Scenario 2013 (LUISA configuration 2014)
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC102696
ISBN: 978-92-79-46967-1 (print)
978-92-79-46966-4 (pdf)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print)
1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 28048
OP LF-NA-28048-EN-C (print)
OP LF-NA-28048-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC102696
DOI: 10.2791/866690
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: This report presents the outcome of a study carried out in the frame of a wider assessment performed with the LUISA (Land Use-based Integrated Sustainability Assessment) modelling platform, configured in compliance with the “EU Energy, Transport and GHG emissions trends until 2050” (EU Energy Reference Scenario 2013). A new methodology has been implemented to estimate and map water requirements for energy production in Europe. In this study, the category of dedicated energy crops (ENCR) played an important role. These crops are expected to emerge as additional fuel sources within the EU28 by 2020. Water requirements in the remaining energy sectors have also been estimated in order to assess whether the introduction of these ENCR may, in any way, compete with the existing water requirements for energy production. More specifically, the study tackles the following questions: • Where and to what extent will there be potential competition with cooling water required for electricity generation related to the introduction of these crops? • How will these trends evolve over time? • How will the introduction of energy crops affect the overall water consumption trends in Europe? The analysis indicates that high irrigation requirements for ENCR are foreseen in France, Poland, Spain, eastern Germany, and regions of Italy and the UK. Substantial increases in requirements are seen for several regions from 2020 to 2030. ENCR are absent in Finland, Denmark, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and Croatia for the whole simulation period. Water consumption for cooling in electricity production has been quantified for the years 2020 and 2030 for 2 scenarios with a minimum and a maximum value. There is notable variation in overall water consumption, both over time and between the scenarios. There is an increase in cooling water consumption for most regions in both scenarios over the period 2020 to 2030, which is especially high in France for the minimum scenario. The values given by the two scenarios vary greatly due to the wide range in water consumption between the different cooling technologies assumed in the two cases. In some regions there is even up to a factor 10 difference in total consumption for cooling. As for any modelling exercise, the study presents a level of uncertainty due to the number of external models giving input and to the assumptions made. In the case of the cooling water mapping, a possible range of minimum/maximum values has been used to reflect the large variation due to the type of cooling system used by each power plant. For the energy crop water requirements we relied on estimates found in the literature. Nevertheless, the study presents an overall continental scale analysis of the potential impacts of the 2013 Energy Reference scenario, covering many of the involved sectors and provides the framework for further refinements and improvements.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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