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Water Efficiency in Solar Energy: How Solarud Addresses Scarcity and Climate Change

Daily we witness extreme phenomena of severe precipitation and extreme droughts, in different geographies of the world. Paying attention to water efficiency is crucial, especially in the context of increasing water scarcity and the need for sustainable resource management. Water is a finite and precious resource, and as demands for it continue to rise, it becomes essential to use it efficiently in various sectors, including energy production.

Considering water efficiency not only helps conserve this vital resource but also reduces environmental impact and operational costs, making it a key consideration for sustainable practices across industries

When we look at the Iberian Peninsula and analyze the historical data of precipitation in this place, we see an increase in the frequency and severity of droughts, along with heat waves.

This phenomenon has far-reaching consequences, particularly for vegetation, carbon balance, soil health, and agricultural productivity. Rainfed crops, like cereals, which rely heavily on rainfall, are particularly vulnerable.

The expected decrease in water availability, because of decreasing precipitation and increasing temperature, rises the need to determine the ecological and environmental impacts of climate variability and change in the Mediterranean region. The result, with a tendency to worsen by 2050, will be “less water in the soil, rivers and aquifers as the 21st century progresses”.

Even without changes in human consumption requirements, plants and animals will find it more difficult to meet all their water needs. In the case of humans, it will be a great challenge to have all the water available to maintain the current lifestyle.

Therefore, it is foreseen that there will have to be a greater rationalization of this unique resource, for a more efficient and rational use. Thus, when a resource is scarce and demand is high, it is natural that its market value goes through the roof. In this value chain and priority of use, it is natural that the practice of washing photovoltaic modules with water should not be considered preponderant and an essential good.

Water efficiency
International Tejo River (not seen in Lisbon)

When analyzing the O&M costs of operating photovoltaic plants, it is not possible for these costs to follow the rise in the values of m3 of water, consequently it is necessary to foresee mechanisms that reduce the number of washings of the photovoltaic panels, maintaining high performance levels of the parks.

When we analyze the Solarud and its purpose of operation, which has the main function of draining the accumulated water (rain or condensation) on the solar panels, and it will not allow the accumulation of that dirt in the photovoltaic modules. Indeed, it is possible to reduce washing cycles, consequently reducing O&M costs, with greater profitability while the m3 of water becomes a scarce commodity.

Enter Solarud, designed primarily to drain accumulated water (rain or condensation) from solar panels, preventing the buildup of dirt in photovoltaic modules. By reducing the need for frequent washings, Solarud contributes to cost savings, enhancing profitability, especially as the cost of water per cubic meter continues to rise.

Certainly, here’s a conclusion emphasizing the importance of water efficiency:

In conclusion, the imperative of water efficiency cannot be overstated. In an era marked by growing concerns over water scarcity and the impacts of climate change, optimizing how we use this invaluable resource is paramount. Solarud stands as a shining example of innovation in the solar energy sector, championing water efficiency. By reducing the need for excessive panel washings and conserving water, it not only contributes to cost savings but also aligns with responsible environmental practices. As we navigate the complex intersection of sustainability, economics, and climate challenges, prioritizing water efficiency remains a fundamental step towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

it is expected that, for example in the Iberian Peninsula, this environmental crisis, of extreme phenomena and drought, will become an economic crisis, insofar as the cost structure of production and maintenance of different assets does not has a way of predicting the exponential rise in m3 of water costs, similar to what is currently happening with electricity and natural gas.

All the best,
Solarud Team.

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