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Cutting Water Consumption in Concentrated Solar Power Plants

Julia Bucknall's picture
Concentrated solar power (CSP) systems are a great promise for renewable energy at scale.  But they can use a lot of water, which is a problem since they tend to be located in places where water is scarce. Some concentrated solar technologies need to withdraw as much as 3,500 liters per Megawatt hour (MWh) generated. This compares to 2,000 liters/MWh for new coal-fired power plants and 1,000 liters/MWh for more efficient natural gas combined cycle power plants.