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Is there a water–energy nexus in electricity generation? Long-term scenarios for the western United States


  • Ackerman, Frank
  • Fisher, Jeremy


Water is required for energy supply, and energy is required for water supply, creating problems as demand for both resources grows. We analyze this “water–energy nexus” as it affects long-run electricity planning in the western United States. We develop four scenarios assuming: no new constraints; limits on carbon emissions; limits on water use; and combined carbon and water limits.

Suggested Citation

  • Ackerman, Frank & Fisher, Jeremy, 2013. "Is there a water–energy nexus in electricity generation? Long-term scenarios for the western United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 235-241.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:59:y:2013:i:c:p:235-241
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.03.027

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott, Christopher A. & Pierce, Suzanne A. & Pasqualetti, Martin J. & Jones, Alice L. & Montz, Burrell E. & Hoover, Joseph H., 2011. "Policy and institutional dimensions of the water-energy nexus," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6622-6630, October.
    2. Bazilian, Morgan & Rogner, Holger & Howells, Mark & Hermann, Sebastian & Arent, Douglas & Gielen, Dolf & Steduto, Pasquale & Mueller, Alexander & Komor, Paul & Tol, Richard S.J. & Yumkella, Kandeh K., 2011. "Considering the energy, water and food nexus: Towards an integrated modelling approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7896-7906.
    3. Chandel, Munish K. & Pratson, Lincoln F. & Jackson, Robert B., 2011. "The potential impacts of climate-change policy on freshwater use in thermoelectric power generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6234-6242, October.
    4. Ford, Andrew, 2008. "Simulation scenarios for rapid reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the western electricity system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 443-455, January.
    5. Nelson, James & Johnston, Josiah & Mileva, Ana & Fripp, Matthias & Hoffman, Ian & Petros-Good, Autumn & Blanco, Christian & Kammen, Daniel M., 2012. "High-resolution modeling of the western North American power system demonstrates low-cost and low-carbon futures," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 436-447.
    6. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Sovacool, Kelly E., 2009. "Identifying future electricity-water tradeoffs in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2763-2773, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Xiaodong & Vesselinov, Velimir V., 2016. "Energy-water nexus: Balancing the tradeoffs between two-level decision makers," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 77-87.
    2. repec:eee:appene:v:225:y:2018:i:c:p:682-695 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nogueira Vilanova, Mateus Ricardo & Perrella Balestieri, José Antônio, 2015. "Exploring the water-energy nexus in Brazil: The electricity use for water supply," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 415-432.
    4. Khan, Zarrar & Linares, Pedro & García-González, Javier, 2017. "Integrating water and energy models for policy driven applications. A review of contemporary work and recommendations for future developments," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1123-1138.
    5. repec:eee:appene:v:203:y:2017:i:c:p:240-253 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:appene:v:224:y:2018:i:c:p:448-468 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kialashaki, Arash & Reisel, John R., 2014. "Development and validation of artificial neural network models of the energy demand in the industrial sector of the United States," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 749-760.
    8. Zhang, Xiaohong & Qi, Yan & Wang, Yanqing & Wu, Jun & Lin, Lili & Peng, Hong & Qi, Hui & Yu, Xiaoyu & Zhang, Yanzong, 2016. "Effect of the tap water supply system on China's economy and energy consumption, and its emissions’ impact," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 660-671.
    9. repec:eee:enepol:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:291-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Fang, Delin & Chen, Bin, 2017. "Linkage analysis for the water–energy nexus of city," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 770-779.
    11. repec:eee:appene:v:210:y:2018:i:c:p:568-579 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Voisin, N. & Kintner-Meyer, M. & Skaggs, R. & Nguyen, T. & Wu, D. & Dirks, J. & Xie, Y. & Hejazi, M., 2016. "Vulnerability of the US western electric grid to hydro-climatological conditions: How bad can it get?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(P1), pages 1-12.
    13. repec:eee:appene:v:210:y:2018:i:c:p:673-684 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Aiko Endo & Izumi Tsurita & Kimberly Burnett & Pedcris M. Orencio, 2016. "A Review of the Current State of Research on the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus," Working Papers 2016-7, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    15. Wakeel, Muhammad & Chen, Bin & Hayat, Tasawar & Alsaedi, Ahmed & Ahmad, Bashir, 2016. "Energy consumption for water use cycles in different countries: A review," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 868-885.
    16. repec:eee:rensus:v:82:y:2018:i:p3:p:4009-4019 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:appene:v:210:y:2018:i:c:p:604-612 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Christopher A. Scott & Zachary P. Sugg, 2015. "Global Energy Development and Climate-Induced Water Scarcity—Physical Limits, Sectoral Constraints, and Policy Imperatives," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-15, August.


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