Integrating water and energy systems for India
Vishwanathan, Saritha S
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The Paris Climate Change Agreement (PCCA, 2015) calls for holding global warming during 1850-2100 to 2 °C and well below 2°C, mainly through nationally determined contributions (NDCs). United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG, 2015) also emphasize on global targets for sustainable actions for energy, water and climate change. In this context, this research explores for India: 1) a set of decarbonization pathways that are collectively consistent with global 2 °C and well below 2 °C pathways, 2) impact of water on integrated water and energy systems, 3) impact of water availability and climate variability on coal power plants – the mainstay of Indian energy system. A bottom-up optimization modeling framework (AIM/Enduse) is used for analysis. Partial decarbonisation of power sector by 2050 is accompanied by enhanced energy efficient systems that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 10 billion ton (bt)-CO2 from Business As Usual (BAU) to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) scenario – a decrease by 6% of cumulative emissions. Shift to cleaner and renewable energy accounts for a further CO2 reductions of 7 bt CO2. For deeper mitigation, all these actions have to be deepened and technologies such as CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) have to brought in that may contribute up to a decrease of 4-23 bt-CO2 while, lifestyle changes account for another 3-6 bt-CO2. Efficient water futures identify increase in water productivity of crops by 15-25% over BAU scenario (8400 bcm ). Integrating energy and water systems would need to reduce water consumption per unit power generated by up to 30% from current practices, and by around 50% through shifting to dry cooling technologies in coal power plants in general, and especially in water scarce regions (as projected using climatic and hydrologic models). Main contributions include: 1) policy implications and insights for implementing PCCA in India, 2) integrating water-energy systems by introducing water as a material flow in energy models, 3) including agriculture in traditional energy model, and 4) linking climatic-hydrological and energy-water model outputs for coal power plant level analysis.
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