The Indian energy sector’s dependence on increasingly scarce water resources has serious consequences. In a recent report, Parched Power: Water Demands, Risks, and Opportunities for India’s Power Sector, Tianyi Luo, Deepak Krishnan, and Shreyan Sen highlight this issue and offer recommendations, helping decision-makers understand the magnitude of water issues for the thermal power sector in India using quantitative evidence.
The report states that between 2013 to 2016, 14 of India’s 20 largest thermal power plants experienced one or more shutdowns due to water shortages. WRI calculates this cost the companies over INR 91 billion ($1.4 billion) in lost revenue. Utility and investor water risks are only expected to worsen as water stress increases in coming years. To mitigate risks, India must shift quickly to renewable energy and tackle plant efficiency. If they do, they’ll save 12.4 billion cubic meters of freshwater withdrawals -- enough to provide 120 million people with a full year’s worth of showers.
In this podcast, Deepak Krishnan weighs in on this issue with key findings from the report.