Renewable Energy Choices and Water Requirements in South Africa
"South Africa (SA) is an arid country, where water supply is often obtained from distant sources. There is also increasing pressure on the limited water resources due to economic and population growth, with a concomitant increase in the energy requirement for water production. This problem will be exacerbated by the onset of climate change. Recently, there have been concerns about negative impacts arising from the exploitation of energy resources. In particular, the burning of fossil fuels is significantly contributing to climate change through the emission of carbon dioxide (major greenhouse gas). In addition, fossil fuels are getting depleted, thereby decreasing energy security. Consequently, the international community has initiated various interventions, including the transformation of policy and regulatory instruments, to promote sustainable energy. In view of this, SA is making policy and regulatory shifts in line with the international developments. Renewable energy is being promoted as one way of achieving sustainable energy provision in the country. However, some issues require scrutiny in order to understand the water footprint of renewable energy production. Due to the large gap that exists between water supply and demand, trade-offs in water allocation amongst different users are critical. In this vein, the main objective of this study was to investigate renewable energy choices and water requirements in SA."