Investigating The Water-Energy Nexus (WEN) In Indian Industry
energyⁿ manager|July - September 2019
This paper attempts to provide the need, background and context for a comprehensive WEN strategic programme in Indian industry.
Padu S. Padmanabhan

Summary

This paper is aimed at developing an informed understanding of the links between energy and water in Indian industry. It presents key performance data of energy and water use in important manufacturing subsectors including pulp & paper, textiles, food processing, beverages and iron & steel. The paper attempts to provide the need, background and context for a comprehensive WEN strategic programme in Indian industry whose intent and scope is to advance demand-driven, water-oriented, applied research that leads to the design, development and implementation of pilot demonstration projects in the nexus of water with energy in value-added manufacturing in India.

Introduction

Energy for water. Water for energy. These two sets of linkages between energy and water have been extensively investigated; however, some aspects of energy use in the water sector are often excluded due to differences in the definition of boundaries within the water sector. In particular, the end-use segment (wherein water is used for various purposes within industrial facilities, on farms, buildings and residences) is frequently overlooked since this process occurs outside the water industry and, often state and central jurisdictions. However, the end-use segment within the processes of the water flow chart (Figure 1) has been identified to have the highest energy intensity in many regions of the world. Many researchers have worked to identify and quantify the energy intensity of water end-uses (energy consumed per unit of water) and water intensity (water consumption per unit of physical production), and in this paper reviews this research with a focus on the Indian manufacturing sector.

Water-Energy nexus in manufacturing

Manufacturing plants use water for a number of purposes including process mixing (i.e., dilution), chemical reactions, process cooling and heating, steam generation, product drying and washing, extraction, room humidification and equipment sanitization. Energy is required to power electric motors, operate pumps, blowers, compressors and other motor-driven equipment, provide illumination, heat and cool processes and, generate steam. The water-energy nexus in manufacturing provides many opportunities for the joint management of water and energy use, integrated design approaches and technologies that maximize co-benefits and minimize negative trade-offs. An array of opportunities exists to co-use energy and water services and to exploit the benefit of synergies, such as combined heat and power plants, efficient steam utilization, air cooling and energy recovery from industrial effluents.

The water-energy nexus in manufacturing provides many opportunities for the joint management of water and energy use, integrated design approaches and technologies that maximize co-benefits and minimize negative trade-offs.

However, within the manufacturing sector, the waterenergy nexus is not well understood. The scant information available raises questions for further investigation. As a first step, there is need to better understand and quantify the nexus within an industrial facility's boundaries for which estimates of water use in manufacturing are required. Without more information on manufacturing water use, countries, states, utilities, regulators and manufacturers cannot take effective action on reducing energy and water use.

Water and Energy consumption in industrial sector in India

In India, the industry is the second-highest consumer of water. Estimates of sectoral water demand in India indicate that the largest user of freshwater (surface and groundwater) is agriculture followed by industry (including thermoelectric utilities) and residential. In 2010 agriculture accounted for a total freshwater withdrawal of 388 million gallons per day (MGD), industry & energy 30 MGD and the residential sector 84 MGD. Figure 2 below shows sectoral water demand estimates in India from 1990 to 2050.

According to the World Bank, the demand for water for industrial use and power generation is increasing at the rate of 4.2 per cent per annum. By the year 2025 it would become 228 billion cubic meters (165 MGD) as compared to only 67 billion cubic meters (48.5 MGD) in 1999.

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