In June 2013 a report was published which confirmed what we at Eurogen have known for quite some time – namely the staggering amounts of freshwater that are used to generate electricity from coal and nuclear fired power stations. The report, Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity found that for every gallon of residential water used in an average household, five times more is used to provide that home with electricity generated from fossil fuel and nuclear power plants (40,000 gallons each month).
The report also concludes that electricity generated by coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants is the biggest consumer of freshwater in the U.S., accounting for more than 50% of all fresh surface water withdrawals from rivers and lakes. This is more than any other economic sector, including agriculture, and occurs at a time when all other sectors are reducing water withdrawals. Unbelievably the water footprint of electricity is highest for hydropower: each day, enough water to meet the demands of more than 50 million people evaporates from reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams.
Put another way more than 25% of the freshwater withdrawn by fossil-fuel power plants to cool their generators goes up in steam; the remainder carries pollutants and excess heat into rivers and waterways, causing fish kills and algae blooms. Nuclear and fossil-fuel electricity generators are being subjected to growing demands on freshwater usage that in turn compromises their ability to generate electricity. Recent ‘brown outs’ in Europe are a worrying trend. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this and are active in expressing their preference for ‘green’ electricity. Enormous carbon emissions from fossil fuel power stations and the massive water consumption necessary to cool the fossil fuel and nuclear power stations are often not factored into the calculations.
There is a world-wide renewable energy resource that can replace fossil fuel and nuclear power stations. There is a technology suite that can exploit and commercialise that resource thanks to the development team at Eurogen. Europe will not lose 35% of its fresh water to cool the fossil fuel and nuclear power stations and countries like Spain, France, New Zealand and others should not experience ‘brown outs’ particularly in summer high temperatures.
What is required is a ‘base load’ generator that does not generate carbon dioxide, and an alternate base load generator of electricity that does not require massive amounts of freshwater for cooling.
The time for Eurogen Power has come.