Study shows wind power can save EU $3.3bn

Data from the Eurostat and European Environment Agency shows that the European Union could save significant amounts of money by reducing the amount of water being used in power generation.

A report on the data compiled by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) calculated out of all the water used directly and indirectly in the EU, the highest amount (44 per cent) is used in powe Wind turbine r production – 4.5 billion cubic metres a year – primarily to cool thermal or nuclear power plants.

The EWEA argues that renewable energy has huge potential in reducing water use, estimating that wind power avoided the use of 1.2 billion cubic metres of water across the EU in 2012 – resulting in financial savings of $3.3bn.

It estimates that 830TWh of electricity was produced from coal power plants, 758TWh from gas and 902TWh from nuclear in 2011. With the average water consumption rates of the three technologies, gas generation used 531 million m³ of water, coal generation used 1.5 billion m³ of water and nuclear generation 2.4 billion m³ in 2011. That is equivalent to the average annual household water use of 82 million EU citizens.

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