The Water-Energy Nexus and the Application of Green Technologies

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2018)



It is estimated that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress affecting the energy demand and efficiency. About 75 percent of the global electricity production from coal, fossils, oil, and gas, requires large quantities of water. South Africa has an abundant supply of coal and generate about 77% of it’s primary energy from coal, resulting in high water consumptions. Needless to say, South Africa is classified as a semi-arid country and the country’s drought and water crisis have put great pressure for the country to develop innovative technologies to improve efficient water usage and energy efficiency. In light of this, the seminar, supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), set out to discuss the use of green technologies pertaining to the water-energy nexus in South Africa as an alternative solution to improve basic human rights and sustain the environment, taking into consideration that South Africa is deemed as energy-rich and water-poor country. The report presents findings that strengthen the need to implement and apply green technologies, innovations, infrastructure and policies that address the water-energy nexus in South Africa to ensure that future demands will be met, minimise damage to the environment, lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and conserve the use of natural resources.