This study analyses the prospective impact of renewable energy deployment, along with recently mandated changes to power plant cooling systems, on water use in India’s electricity sector. Looking at the expected freshwater intensity of non-hydro power generation under different scenarios, the analysis aims to quantify the impact of India’s energy transition on freshwater use. The findings highlight the need to incorporate water considerations into energy planning.
The World Resources Institute and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) conducted the analysis using data compiled from various sources on water withdrawal and consumption. The study considers the impact on water use in the context of IRENA’s REmap India analysis as well as power-sector scenarios from India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The resulting brief focuses on India’s power generation at the national level.