The Synergetic Role of Solar PV in the Unit Commitment of Energy-water Nexus

Saige Wang, Qing Yang, Bin Chen


China is the biggest solar PV power development country, most of its solar PV are located at western areas, with serious water shortage. The water shortage has proposed great challenge to energy development, solar power as a water-saving renewable energy create the chance to break water bottleneck for energy sector. This paper investigated the direct water consumption for solar PV from whole life cycle perspective and the indirect water embodied in the material, labor and goods were calculated based on the input-output analysis. Comparing the water intensity of solar PV power with other types energy, we quantified the water saved from the solar PV for different regions. The results showed that the water intensity for solar PV is 0.692 liter/kWh, and about 46.29% of which are used for material solar grade silicon and solar cells. In 2014, the water saved due to the solar PV in China had reached 1393 E+8 L. Among them, Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia are top five provinces with the highest water saving, saving water with 671 E+8 L, 246 E+8 L, 156 E+8 L, 65.2 E+8 L and 59.7 E+8 L, respectively, which accounting for 85.94% of the national saved water. By investigating the water intensity and provincial water saved due to solar PV, we aimed to provide insights for the solar PV development.


Energy-water nexus, solar PV, regional renewable energy development, life cycle analysis


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