The incentives for commercial and institutional (C&I) organizations to move toward greater adoption of renewable energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs) and other carbon-reducing technologies are stronger than ever. Likewise, the consequences of ignoring this opportunity continue to deepen.
There is an inherent connection between water, energy, and climate. An as it turns out, renewable energy sources can do a lot more than mitigate climate change. While conversations around renewable energy have often pointed to climate change mitigation as the primary benefit of adoption, the ecological crisis calls for attention to be given to lesser known, immediate threats that transitioning to renewable energy could help solve.
Of course, climate change mitigation is still one of the foremost reasons to consider using renewable sources. Clean technologies like wind and solar are essentially zero-carbon sources of energy, and replacing fossil fuels with increasingly more renewable sources will dramatically improve the health of our atmosphere and in turn, the health of current and future generations on Earth.
However, it is important to note the less obvious but equally important benefits renewable energy can bring. Conventional sources of energy–including coal, oil, and natural gas–are extremely water-intensive to extract and process. By comparison, electricity from wind turbines takes no water at all to produce. And with drought and energy demands ramping up across the globe, there is no water to waste.
Harnessing the existing capability to produce energy from readily available sources like the sun and wind may be the only way to meet the exponentially increasing global demand for water. Stressed by both climatic changes and overuse, this demand is predicted to be 55% more by 2050. The risk of decreased energy reliability is also enormous. Supplementing or replacing conventional, water-intensive, sources of electricity will not only save money, as prices for wind and solar begin to dip below those for oil and gas, but will also secure water and energy for future needs.
In tribute to World Water Week, we ask you to consider: how can alternative ways of preserving this precious resource also work in your favor?