Water-stressed countries should consider the deployment of solar and wind power plants as a solution for their water supply issues, according to the World Resources Insititute (WRI).
The experts from WRI stressed that power production from solar and wind sources make almost zero, or very limited use of, water, unlike traditional energy sources. “These renewable forms of energy can help countries meet their increased demand for electricity without adding carbon emissions or consuming water,” they explained in their statement.
Particularly in emerging economies with increasing populations, farming and industry should consider the choice of the “right energy systems”, in order to improve water supply, they went on to say.
The top-10 ranking of the water-stressed countries with the highest solar potential is dominated by Middle Eastern and Northern African countries, with the exception of only one American country, Mexico, which occupies the tenth position.
Yemen with topped the ranking, with4.8 points of Average Water Stress Score (AWSS) and an Average Solar Energy Potential of 267.5 GHI-W / m2, followed by Eritrea (3.3 AWSS and 265.6 GHI-W / m2), Saudi Arabia (5.0 AWSS and 252.9 GHI-W / m2), Oman (5.0 AWSS and 249 GHI-W / m2), Libya (4.7 AWSS and 246.2 GHI-W / m2), Algeria (3.0 AWSS and 245.3 GHI-W / m2), Morocco (3.9 AWSS and 244.8 GHI-W / m2), the United Arab Emirates (5.0 AWSS and 241 GHI-W / m2), Jordan (4.3 AWSS and 240.9 GHI-W / m2), and Mexico with 3.3 AWSS and 240.6 GHI-W / m2.
Among the European countries, Portugal and Spain are the ones with the highest potential (3.1 AWSS and 189.3 GHI-W / m2 and 3.5 AWSS and 189.1 GHI-W / m2, respectively), which places them 35th and 36th. Australia, with its well-known water issues, holds 17th position in this special ranking, while India, one of the world’s largest economies, occupies the 28th position. For the latter, the WRI also showed in a previous analysis that it could reduce its water consumption intensity by more than 25% just by achieving its renewable energy targets.