Renewable Energy Saves Water and Creates Jobs

Renewable energy production has obvious benefits such as reduced pollution and reduced dependence on foreign fuel sources, but there is a few that don’t always make headlines.

Credit: David Hogan Getty Images A common argument for expanding renewable energy sources is that technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines are responsible for far less carbon dioxide than power plants that burn fossil fuels. But two other powerful benefits should also be getting much more attention: the switch can save vast quantities of freshwater, and can create a large number of new, high-paying jobs. Want proof? Let’s look at the data that our detailed research has revealed. NOTE: Tapping a graphic, or placing a cursor over it, will reveal interactive information. Only about 3 percent of the Earth’s water is freshwater. Advertisement Credit: Anna Hazard; Source: Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World’s Fresh Water Resources , edited by Peter H. Gleick. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993 Most of that is frozen in glaciers—which means only 0.8 percent of the planet’s water reserves can be tapped for human use. Water is a precious, but limited, commodity. And nearly 1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean water. In the U.S., 45.3 percent of the water withdrawn from lakes, rivers and underground aquifers is used to cool off thermoelectric power plants: nuclear reactors […]

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