Next Article in Journal
The Effect of Differentiating the Thermal Conductivity between Inner and Outer Walls on the Stability of a U-Bend Catalytic Heat-Recirculating Micro-Combustor: A CFD Study
Previous Article in Journal
Impact of Temperature on the Moisture Buffering Performance of Palm and Sunflower Concretes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Renewable Energy Powered Membrane Technology: Electrical Energy Storage Options for a Photovoltaic-Powered Brackish Water Desalination System
Article

Is Small Scale Desalination Coupled with Renewable Energy a Cost-Effective Solution?

1
Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (iBO), Centre for Research and Technology–Hellas (CERTH), 6th km Charilaou-Thermi Rd, Thermi, GR 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Department of Natural Resources and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos Street, GR 11855 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesco Calise and Edris Pouresmaeil
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5419; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125419
Received: 11 May 2021 / Revised: 31 May 2021 / Accepted: 9 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Desalination Powered by Renewable Energy)
Water and energy are two of the most important inputs for a community to thrive. While water is dominant on earth, only 2.5% of the water is fresh water and over 98% of that water is either ground water or locked up in glaciers and ice caps. Therefore, only about 1.2% of all the freshwater is surface water which is able to meet human needs. About 2 billion people currently do not have sufficient access to fresh water. One of the solutions deployed in the last decades for island and coastal areas has been desalination. Desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater is commercially available and still a fast-advancing technology. The decreasing cost of renewable energy coupled with strategies based on renewables for powering populations without access to electricity and policies for complete decarbonization of the economy such as the European Green Deal make the combination of renewables and desalination a really interesting approach. This paper investigates combinations of small-scale RO desalination systems which are able to produce up to a few thousand m3 of desalinated water per day coupled with photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy systems, both in grid-connected, as well as in autonomous scenarios. The results show that RO desalination coupled with renewables can address cost-effectively the current issues in terms of water scarcity, while minimizing the environmental footprint of the process. In this paper, it has been showcased that desalination powered by renewables can be deployed in practically any location on earth having access to sea or a brackish water source. The results show that even for grid-connected systems it is more cost-effective and profitable to include a renewable energy system to power the plant, apart from the corresponding environmental benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: desalination; renewables; reverse osmosis; photovoltaics; wind turbines; particle swarm optimization desalination; renewables; reverse osmosis; photovoltaics; wind turbines; particle swarm optimization
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Kyriakarakos, G.; Papadakis, G. Is Small Scale Desalination Coupled with Renewable Energy a Cost-Effective Solution? Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 5419. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125419

AMA Style

Kyriakarakos G, Papadakis G. Is Small Scale Desalination Coupled with Renewable Energy a Cost-Effective Solution? Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(12):5419. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125419

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kyriakarakos, George, and George Papadakis. 2021. "Is Small Scale Desalination Coupled with Renewable Energy a Cost-Effective Solution?" Applied Sciences 11, no. 12: 5419. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125419

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop