There are a number of pressing considerations we must be making as we move to adapt the global energy mix to a world faced with numerous environmental crises. Certainly, climate change is chief among these, and moving towards low carbon fuels should be a top priority. The amount of traditional pollution emitted must be watched as well. But we've also got to start paying a lot more attention to how much water our various energy sources suck down ...We're going to be facing a number of global water crises in coming years: Climate change is drying out already arid areas and shrinking glaciers that people depend on for drinking water. Burgeoning populations are further straining water supplies in much of the world. So hooking up these regions in particular to energy sources that don't consume too much water will be a top priority.
And so Rina Bohle Zeller of Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, makes the pitch for wind -- and solar, implicitly (but she's not hocking solar wares). Neither power sources actively consume water in order to produce energy (though she neglects to mention that water is required to manufacture the turbines and solar panels themselves).
She estimates that the U.S. could save a whopping 4 trillion gallons of water by 2030 if we were to ramp up our wind power to account for 20% of our domestic energy mix.
And that's another thing you'd hear from those who advocate nuclear as a clean source -- that it's a pretty water intensive means of generating power.
More on Water and Energy Generation
New Jersey Approves Deep Water Wind Farm: See What Offshore Wind ...
How Smart Metering Can Solve the Water Crisis