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Implications of National Climate Targets on the Energy-Water Nexus in Germany: A Case Study

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 1, 1080344
Vera Sehn , Markus Blesl
Institute of Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use, University of Stuttgart, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart, Germany


The German energy transition is not only a challenge for the technical system transformation but will also imply changes in the water system and reallocation of resource usage. This paper analyses which interactions provide valuable information for the energy system and how future water use projection could be conducted with the help of energy system modelling. It was assumed that different national climate policy scenarios for the energy system influence the water projections. The interactions considered for the German case study are: water demand for cooling technologies, irrigation practices of energy crops, as well as literature based assessments of total water demand and renewable water availability. Based on the energy scenario analysis, water use for the energy system will shift over time from cooling water use to irrigation water use for energy crops and the amount of irrigation water use is dependent on the demand of biomass which increases for stricter climate targets. There is a small risk of future water stress that can be eliminated through the use of recycled water for irrigation.

Keywords: Energy-water nexus, Energy policy, Cooling water demand, Irrigation water demand, Water projections, Water stress risk assessment.

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