Renewable Energy Desalination: An Emerging Solution to Close MENA's Water Gap
Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are facing real water security challenges. In arid, coastal cities, water demand is often met through large-scale desalination systems powered by fossil fuels. While groundwater and surface water resources are dwindling due to population growth and climate change, more desalination plants will be required to meet the water demand gap.
With rising fuel prices, however, many countries will need to look to renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, as an alternative source for water provision. Desalination can, therefore, present an opportunity for developing countries to meet their water supply needs while at the same time developing their renewable energy potential.
To support research on potential projects in this area, the WPP co-funded an extensive study entitled “MENA Regional Water Outlook: Desalination Using Renewable Energy”. The study assesses water availability and demand projections, as well as implications of climate change impacts on water in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) up to 2050. Covering 21 countries, the report includes various technology scenarios for desalination plants using renewable energy. The assessment focuses on the use of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) as a reliable energy source for the region. By presenting information on the generation potential and associated costs of desalination, the study is the first step in helping countries determine whether to promote such strategies in the long-term.
To present the findings of the study, the WPP co-sponsored a workshop on the use of renewable energies in desalination processes. International experts in the field of desalination and renewable energy gathered in Washington, DC on January 26, 2012 to debate the viability of these technologies for MENA’s energy and water security. The reports from the study could provide decision-makers with the much-needed analysis and tools to better ensure long-term water and energy security in the region.
Click here for Abstract & Agenda PDF
MENA Water Outlook to 2050 Report
MENA Desalination Using Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy Desalination: An Emerging Solution to Close MENA's Water Gap (synthesis report)
Making the Most of Scarcity