New research shows hydrological limits in carbon capture and storage

Our energy and water systems are inextricably linked. Climate change necessitates that we transition to carbon-free energy and also that we conserve water resources as they become simultaneously more in demand and less available. Policymakers, business leaders, and scientists seeking to address the urgency of climate change are increasingly looking to carbon capture and storage (CCS) to help meet global climate goals. While CCS minimizes emissions from the combustion of fuels, its impact on global water resources has not been widely explored. New research shows that CCS could stress water resources in about 43% of the world’s power plants where water scarcity is already a problem. Further, the technology deployed in these water-scarce regions matters, and emerging CCS technologies could greatly mitigate the demand CCS places on water consumption.

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