According to a new study by Finland’s LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce just 1 MWh of output; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. Under the researchers’ best policy scenario, water consumption could be reduced by 75.1% by 2030, compared to 2015 levels.
A team of researchers modeled the country’s energy future, finding that the drought plagued municipalities could benefit massively from large scale renewables deployment. The current reliance on coal-fired power stations causes immense water consumption, worsening the problem.
Though lauded at times as a water-saving technology, PV’s concentration in arid and remote regions, in conjunction with inefficient cleaning methods, can exacerbate water scarcity and prompt rising water tariffs for plant operators, according to a new report on Indian PV installations, published by analysts Bridge to India.