The water-energy nexus refers to the close relationship between the two resources. This link has been thrown into sharp relief over recent months, especially in Europe, Anmar Frangoul reported for CNBC.
Photo Insert: Uniper — via the transparency platform of the European Energy Exchange — said there “may be irregular operation” at two of its hard-fired coal plants, Datteln 4 and Staudinger 5.
In an interview with CNBC last week, the CEO of Snam Stefano Venier spoke about why it was important to value water. His comments come at a time when the interconnection between water and energy security has been thrown into sharp relief following a period of high temperatures and significant drought in Europe.
“For a long time, water was considered [as being] for free, as something that is fully available in any quantity,” Venier told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy.
“Now, we are discovering that with climate change … water can become scarce,” Venier, who was speaking at the end of last week, added.
With water levels of some major European rivers dropping in recent months, there have been concerns about how this will affect the supply of energy sources such as coal, a fossil fuel.
Earlier in August, for example, Uniper — via the transparency platform of the European Energy Exchange — said there “may be irregular operation” at two of its hard-fired coal plants, Datteln 4 and Staudinger 5. This was, it reported, “due to a limitation of coal volumes on site caused by the low water levels of the Rhine river.”
This connection has been highlighted over recent months, especially in Europe. Earlier this summer, for example, a Swiss nuclear power plant lowered its output in order to prevent the river that cools it from hitting temperature levels dangerous to marine life.
At the time, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation’s international unit, citing the country’s public broadcaster SRF, said the Beznau nuclear power plant had “temporarily scaled back operations” to stop the temperature of the River Aare from rising “to levels that are dangerous for fish.”
These restrictions have since been lifted. Elsewhere, government ministers in Norway, which is heavily reliant on hydropower domestically, have talked about restricting exports due to lower reservoir levels, according to Reuters.