Water resources as important factor for the global energy system transition (Energiewende) at local and global scale (WANDEL)

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    Project Manager :
    Zita Sebesvari

    WANDEL explores whether limitations in the availability of water resources in sufficient quantity or quality might accelerate or delay the global energy system transition (Energiewende). Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) this multi-stakeholder collaborative project focuses on the interlinkages between hydropower, coal, solar power and biomass based energy production and global water resources. UNU-EHS assesses the linkages between water resources and energy production at the local level by conducting a case study on sugarcane-based energy production in the Rio dos Patos catchment in Brazil. The water demand of sugarcane-based energy production (both the agricultural and industrial phases) is analysed in relation to scenarios of the regional water availability with particular focus on land use change scenarios and technological improvements in irrigation. The impacts of sugarcane production and sugar mill wastewater discharge on water quality are assessed and fed into a water footprint model. The UN-EHS led case study also contributes to the development of nexus-type water and energy indicators. Additionally, UNU-EHS provides support for the dissemination of the project results targeting local and global stakeholders.