Promoting energy-water nexus resource efficiency through renewable energy and energy efficiency (EERES4WATER)

Participants: CTA (coordinator) (ES), US (ES), CIEMAT (ES), ITC (ES), UCC (IE), BRINERGY (ES), ENERAREA (PT), UEVORA (PT), RML (IE), CU (UK), ESPRIT (FR)

Contact:  Diego Alarcón, diego.alarcon@psa.es

Funding agency: European Commission, INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme

Background: According to the priorities established in the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3), sustainable solutions to technological advancement of the energy and water sectors with regard for regional specific features are required, from industrialized to rural. Technological solutions should be adapted to different scenarios commonly exist in the Atlantic Area, specially to coastal areas and islands.

Objectives: EERES4WATER will enhance the institutional, technical and social framework to promote the direct use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in the water cycle by influencing related policies and introducing new processes and technologies. Main goal is to provide Atlantic Area stakeholders with the tools and instruments needed to overcome the Energy-Water nexus challenges and increase its utilization.

Achievements in 2021: The main activity during 2021 has been focused on the improvement of the simulation models aimed at the techno-economic evaluation of the combination of photovoltaic plants and central receiver solar thermal plants to feed reverse osmosis units. These improvements have focused on the management protocols of the thermal storage system as well as the operation of the reverse osmosis plant at partial load. During this year, work has also been carried out on the integration of forward osmosis technology as a pre-treatment for the MED process, obtaining theoretical results that show recovery ratio values of up to 55% while maintaining energy consumption values (GOR) above 13. Regarding the evaluation activity of the vacuum assisted membrane distillation technology, it has been carried out in batch configuration with the aim of increasing the recovery ratio and extending the application of the technology to other areas such as brine concentration and water mining.