The Water-Energy Nexus: Trading One Problem for Another?

Renewables are more environmentally benign sources of energy. But when it comes to water use, many question the sustainability of certain technologies. With water shortages looming in countries all over the world, concerns are growing about what our transition to renewables will do to exacerbate those problems.

In this podcast, we’ll have a roundtable discussion on the water-energy nexus and why it’s so important for governments and companies to think about as they develop new sources of energy.


Bill Hoffman, principal of Hoffman and Associates, talks about how water is used in thermal power plants, why water rights issues are getting more intense and how rainwater and wastewater collection are important pieces of the distributed energy mix.

Carey King, an energy and resource analyst for the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas, describes which technologies use the most water, the benefits and drawbacks of dry cooling towers for power plants and how U.S. water problems stack up with other countries around the world.

And Tom Rooney, CEO of SPG Solar, describes the lack of communication between businesses in the water industry and businesses in the renewable energy industry. He also discusses the benefits of solar PV technologies in helping reduce water use.

If you’re looking for a link to the 60 Minutes Bloom Box story, which we mention in the news round-up, follow this link.

Inside Renewable Energy is a weekly audio news program featuring stories and interviews on all the latest developments in the renewable energy industries.

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I am a reporter with, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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