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Save water with wind power


21 Mar 2012


Climate & Environment

The power sector is the one of the world's biggest consumers of water, but one source - wind power - uses very little water to produce electricity.  All fossil fuels and nuclear need significant quantities of water to pump crude oil out of the ground, remove pollutants from power plant exhausts, flush residues after fossil fuels are burned and cool power plants.

Coal uses up to 3.2 cubic metres of water per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced, gas uses up to 1.7 m3 per MWh and nuclear around 2.7 m3 per MWh, but wind power uses only a fraction of these amounts.

In the US, the Department of Energy estimates that with a 20% share of wind power in the power system by 2030, as much as 15 trillion litres of water could be saved. That's the equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 9 million US citizens.


"Water scarcity is becoming a global challenge exacerbated by population growth and climate change. Wind energy is key to preserving our water resources and fighting climate change," Rémi Gruet, EWEA Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor for Environment and Climate Change, said on World Water Day (22 March). "Governments should therefore take a much more holistic approach to energy policy and promote investments in wind energy with ambitious targets for renewable energy".

Global water demand is expected to outstrip supply by 2030 as world population grows and demand for power rises, according to the 2030 water resources group:


Peter Sennekamp

Media Officer

Phone: +32 2 213 18 33   

EWEA - European Wind Energy Association asbl/vzw

EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting wind power in Europe and worldwide. It has over 700 members from almost 60 countries, including wind turbine manufacturers with a leading share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, contractors, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies, and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world's largest and most powerful wind energy network.