Potential of Concentrating Solar Power Plants for the Combined Production of Water and Electricity in MENA Countries
The widening gap between consumption and availability of water poses a serious threat to a sustainable socioeconomic development of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries and calls for an even larger augmentation of water supply using seawater desalination. However, these plants are affected by high specific energy consumption, while the uncertainty about fossil fuel prices in the future represents a severe problem. Within this study long-term scenarios for water and electricity demand based on potential assessment of renewable energies have been developed. The results provide baseline information for decision makers for the establishment of a favourable framework for the deployment of concentrated solar power and desalination plants. Finally, this paper points out the importance to start a paradigm change in water and electricity supply as soon as possible, in order to meet the requirements for low cost water and electricity and to avoid conflicts related to water scarcity.