According to a new study published in ‘Energy and environment science’, parts of Asia may significantly be affected due to climate change and over-tapped waterways. This is because the water to cool down power plants is now scarce. The study also suggested that the problem is going to be on a much larger scale in Asia, especially in regions of India and China and Southeast Asia, where more than 400 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plant capacity are planned for operation by 2030.
"One of the impacts of climate change is that the weather is changing, which leads to more extreme events -- more torrential downpours and more droughts," said Jeffrey Bielicki, a co-author of the study and an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.
"The power plants -- coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants -- require water for cooling, so when you don't have the rain, you don't have the streamflow, you can't cool the power plant," added Bielicki. According to Bielicki, the power plants in the United States are already facing this problem. The water supply in such regions has been reduced due to where extreme weather patterns.
A part of the problem is going to come from the increasing power production of the plant, which, in turn, will only create a much higher demand for water. "Capacity expansion and climate change combined is going to reduce the water available to cool power plants," said Yaoping Wang, lead author of the study and a former doctoral student at Ohio State. Wang, now a research assistant professor at The University of Tennessee, has also previously researched during his fellowship at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria.
(With ANI Inputs)