Ayman Elshkaki | Energy
Energy, water, and materials are interconnected in several ways. Increasing demand for resources combined with environmental, availability, accessibility, and security risks associated with their supply are raising concerns for their future sustainable management. Resources nexus and CO2 emissions in China have been analysed using a dynamic material flow-stock model for 10 electricity generation technologies (EGT) and 21 materials. The analysis includes 10 scenarios, combining energy scenarios; National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and International Energy Agency (IEA-450), and scenarios for EGT materials content and energy, water, and CO2 intensities. Cumulative energy, water, and CO2 emissions associated with EGT materials production in NDRC scenario are double those in IEA-450 scenario. Annual energy required for materials is expected to be between 2.3% and 3.4% of annual EG. Highest water, energy, and CO2 are related to PV and wind in NDRC scenario and hydropower and PV in IEA-450 scenario. Required Fe and concrete for EGT is much higher than Al, however energy, water, and CO2 emissions associated with Al are either higher or slightly lower than Fe and concrete. Careful selection of EGT and their materials is significant to reduce EG impacts, and considering resources nexus is significant for future integrated resources policies.