In more areas around the USA and world, water is becoming a constraint on development. That is increasingly true for power generation too. Indeed, water is joining the capital and fuel costs of a new power plant, as critical variables in deciding what type of power plant to build in various locations.
with capital costs and fuel costs, power generation technologies vary
greatly on how much water they need to operate, whether measured at the
power plant or over the lifecycle of the fuel used to make electricity.
to a new report, natural gas powered electricity requires 1.5 gallons
per kilowatt-hour; nuclear power 2.9 gallons per kwh; and coal-fired
generation 7.1 gallons per kwh.
contrast to gas, coal, and nuclear, wind and solar photovoltaic require
tiny amounts of water. Solar thermal plants, however, are more water