Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wind Power and Fresh Water

One benefit of wind power that gets far too little attention is its ability to save water. A friend at the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America program has been talking about it for some time, and when I started digging into the numbers, I was stunned. Did you know:

- The average U.S. home uses about 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in a year. For every kilowatt-hour that is generated, 25 gallons of water is used (average for coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear and hydro electricity generation). You do the math--that's a quarter of a million gallons a year.

- The average U.S. home uses more water indirectly for electricity generation than for all other household uses (bathing, washing dishes, cooking, etc.) put together.

- Generating electricity with wind power uses no water.

You can get the full lowdown on this issue from a Wind Powering America fact sheet, The Wind-Water Nexus. Very impressive--and particularly important in areas that may experience prolonged drought as a result of global warming.


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