Articles tagged with "desalination"
Oil importing nations have long treated Saudi Arabia as an infinitely deep well of crude oil supplies. In 2005, Matt Simmon’s book Twilight in the Desert did much to call attention to the possibility of diminishing production from the desert kingdom’s aging wells. More recently, cables released by Wikileaks highlight the possible overstatement of Saudi oil reserves. Excellent commentary and links to detailed information covering these issues can be found in a recent post on The Oil Drum.
What much of this discussion ignores, however, is that oil exports from Saudi Arabia depend on more than just production — they are a function of both production and internal consumption. This post will focus on the existing trends of energy consumption within Saudi Arabia and how they will impact future exports, whatever future production levels may be.
Debbie Cook is the former mayor of Huntington Beach, California and was the Democratic candidate for California’s 46th Congressional District in 2008. Cook has had a long interest in the interrelationship between water and energy policy. Her writing on sustainability issues has appeared in the Huffington Post, Energy Bulletin, The Oil Drum and Post Carbon Institute, of which she is also a board member.
There is powerful information waiting to be unleashed in water data. If it were set free it would force us to re-think how we use, develop, sell, transfer, and dispose of water. Rather than focusing on the miles per gallon our cars get, we might consider how much water per mile that fuel's production required. Rather than arguing over how much energy is being used to produce water, we would give credit to how much water is required to produce energy. Rather than focusing on whether our food is grown locally, we would consider how much water it took to grow that food in our locality.
For all the lip-service we give to water and its pivotal role, why is there not a U.S. Water Information Administration modeled after the U. S. Energy Information Administration? Established in 1977 as a response to the 1973 oil disruptions, the EIA “collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.” With a budget of $111 million per year, the agency produces data and analysis free of influence from the Executive Branch. The water sector screams for such a resource.
This is a guest essay by Debbie Cook, former Mayor of Huntington Beach, CA and ASPO-USA Board member. Debbie recently lost the election for the 46th Congressional district in California. It is a testament to our nations current focus that we have few leaders like her in DC aware that energy and natural resources are ultimately what we have to spend. Her essay looks at the energy required to turn ocean water into potable water. The interrelationships of energy and water in our social systems will be paramount going forward--as we need water to procure most energy and energy to procure most water. And we are learning that more money won't magically procure more of either.
Posted by Big Gav on May 2, 2008 - 3:00pm in The Oil Drum: Australia/New Zealand
Tags: acquasol, australia, concentrating solar power, desalination, solar thermal power, stephen schneider, water [list all tags]
There were a couple of small Australian solar power projects that I left out of my look at solar thermal power a little while ago, as I thought they were worthy of separate consideration.
I talked about one of these - Wizard Power's technique for storing energy using ammonia - last week. The other project is by a company called Acquasol which is building a plant to desalinate water using solar thermal energy at Point Paterson, near Port Augusta in South Australia.
Like Wizard Power and Lloyd Energy's graphite based energy storage technique, Acquasol received an initial round of funding from the (now defunct) Australian Greenhouse Office's Advanced Energy Storage Technology program.
In this post I'll look at the Acquasol project and then more generally at water scarcity worldwide and some of the approaches being taken to tackle it.