The water-energy nexus: an untapped resource for major energy savings

Water requires energy. When we move it, clean it, heat it and cool it—energy moves with it. These two precious resources come together seamlessly in our daily lives, but they can also jointly create significant energy savings. Unleashing the potential of the water-energy nexus will drive substantial energy savings to repower the EU while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says Hayati Yarkadas at Xylem Europe on Foresight Climate & Energy ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day. 

The water-energy nexus refers to the link between energy use in water management and water use in energy production. Water and wastewater infrastructure account for 3.7% of the global electricity consumption. The good news is that any efficiency gains in one benefits the other.

And by using high-efficiency technologies, we can cut half of that energy consumption at zero or negative cost. This would be equivalent to removing 9.2 million fossil-fuelled cars per year and it would free up $40 billion to invest in other types of water infrastructure.

The nexus also holds the potential to generate large-scale energy and water savings across sectors and drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—an important element to address the impending climate change crisis.

We must move to an energy-neutral wastewater sector to achieve climate neutrality in Europe.

 

Read the full article here

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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Unleash the potential of the water-energy nexus in the energy efficiency directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and Water Europe (WE), call on the European Parliament and the Member States to unleash the potential of the Water-Energy nexus in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).  

The nexus holds the potential to generate large-scale energy and water savings across sectors and reduce Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. Saving water saves energy and saving energy saves water.  

Our joint declaration supports policy makers with 11 recommendations on how to exploit these synergies and achieve greater water, resource and energy efficiencies 

  1. Secure that the energy efficiency first (EE1) principle applies across sectors and all water cycles and that the quality of water used is fit for purpose.  
  2. Create an enabling framework that ensure the delivery of all the benefits deriving from water efficiency.  
  3. Promote water reuse to generate energy savings in water management.  
  4. Facilitate interoperability and easy integration to the energy grid of energy generated by wastewater treatment plants.  
  5. Introduce a mandatory system of assessment for both energy and water usage in industry, water supply systems, wastewater network and treatment plants.  
  6. Provide meaningful incentives to ensure that water suppliers reduce water leakage levels, particularly for large and very large water suppliers.  
  7. Mandate the introduction of green infrastructure and adapt grey infrastructures in cities to reduce the amount of storm water being directly released into wastewater treatment plants.  
  8. Provide incentives to the use of digital technologies and real-time data analytics across water cycles.  
  9. Foster transparency and free-flow of data across EU on water quality and availability, water leakages, system capacity and energy use for water and waste water infrastructure and performance.  
  10. Develop communication standards for data sharing across the water cycle and between national and regional entities.  
  11. Introduce requirements and incentives in the EED for the ICT sector to monitor their energy and water consumption. 

Read the full declaration and recommendations here

 

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How to fully exploit the potential of the water-energy nexus for energy efficiency

On the 27th of October EU-ASE hosted an online policy session “Fully exploiting the water-energy nexus” organised together with Water Europe at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2021.

EU-ASE President Monica Frassoni moderated the panel composed of Claudia Canevari (DG Ener), MEP Eleonora Evi (European Parliament), Oriana Romano (OECD) and Durk Krol (Water Europe). The speakers discussed how the water sector and water smart-management can lead to energy savings across industrial, commercial and residential water cycles. They also debated the data and methodologies to calculate such savings, with a view to leveraging Art 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The recording of the event is available here.
The slides used during the presentation can be found here.

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EU-ASE at high-level launch of Energy Efficiency First Guidelines

The president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni spoke at the high-level event “Recommendation and Guidelines on Energy Efficiency First: From principles to practice” organised by the European Commission’s DG ENER and CINEA on 28 September for the launch of its Guidelines on the Energy Efficiency first principle. 

In her intervention, Monica Frassoni called on the Commission to lead by example and apply the principle to their policy and regulatory work, starting from the forthcoming Energy Performance of Buildings Directive proposal. She also stressed the need for stronger integration of the water-energy nexus in the EU legislative framework. 

The event gathered stakeholders from both the energy and energy end-use sectors and from sustainable finance. The guidelines aim to support the implementation of the Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) principle in decision-making in the energy sector and beyond.  

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The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive to fully realise water and energy savings (updated)

Overall, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) has played a substantial role in improving the quality of European water resources and reducing pollution levels in water bodies. However, Europe remains some way from full compliance with collection and treatment requirements and has made little progress with water reuse. We believe the 28-year-old Directive should be updated to better address these critical issues and today’s challenges including climate change, resource scarcity, increased energy consumption and population growth.

 Read the full paper

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