ASEAN: Gov'ts face challenge of ensuring growth of renewable sector & protecting access to water

Author: ASEAN Post, Published on: 15 September 2018

"Water stress giving renewables a bad name," 16 September 2018

The renewable energy sector in Southeast Asia has progressed by leaps and bounds...However, one question remains; are mechanisms put in place for the harnessing of these resources truly safe for the environment?

Irresponsible methods of harnessing renewables can be seen as a contributing factor to water scarcity in the region...

...At their most basic, power plants are built to generate energy from renewables for the production of electricity. The concern is that if these plants are built near water sources, there is a risk that these water sources could be contaminated by residue and other pollutants. Power plants should ideally be located where there is no need to use freshwater, but instead rely on saline, brackish, degraded, or reclaimed water.

...Alternative cooling technologies for power generation, including dry or hybrid cooling, can reduce water consumption. One of the reasons why this step is not implemented by energy companies is because the costs to implement are high and there are constraints related to efficiency losses through the use of such technologies. If it is within the capacity of governments in the ASEAN region to harness renewables that do not require the use of water, then, it should be carried out.



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