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The impacts and challenges of water use of electric power production in China

  • Y. Jin
dinsdag 21 juni 2022
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. A. Tukker


The electric power system requires large amounts of water resources and is a major driver of global water stress. Satisfying this requirement is of significance to water management and power system planning. This thesis examines the impacts and challenges of water use of electric power system.

This thesis found that there are large differences in water use of electricity technologies, with hydropower and thermal power being two large water users. Water is used for power production and then virtually transmitted via power transmission networks. From this angle, regional water stress can be influenced by power transmission across regions. The power system has further impacts on freshwater biodiversity because of its freshwater consumption and thermal emissions. Power system faces challenges when its water demand cannot be met. Carbon capture and storage is an important approach to reducing carbon emissions of power plants, while it requires additional water resources and could exacerbate the vulnerability of power system to water stress. It is necessary to deepen the analyses of the links between energy and water systems and incorporate the results into future energy and water management.


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