event 07 Sep 2016

Energy Transition Show // The Energy-Water Nexus

Interview with Jordan Macknick, energy and environmental analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), on the water-energy nexus in the USA. The Energy Transition Show is an interview podcast series on the transition from fossil to renewable energy.

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Website "The Energy Transition Show"


Energy and water are inextricably linked: It takes energy to supply water, and it takes water to supply energy. And those processes consume vast amounts of both. Yet we have only really begun to study the energy-water nexus and gather the data that policymakers will need to understand the risk that climate change poses to both power and water. As rainfall and temperatures continue to depart from historical norms, forcing conventional power plants to throttle back or shut down, we may need to invest more heavily in wind and solar PV just to keep the lights on. Even more radical solutions may become necessary, like switching to more dry-cooled power plants, and desalinating brackish groundwater. Ideally, we would treat the challenges of the energy-water nexus in an integrated way, deliberately reducing our energy and water demands simultaneously as part of our energy transition strategies, but our governments aren’t typically set up for that, and much more basic research and analytical work is needed.


Jordan Macknick is an Energy and Environmental Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Jordan leads NREL analysis research on the interface of energy, water, and land issues in policy planning. In addition, his research addresses energy deployment in developing countries, technology characterizations, and global energy and carbon systems. Prior to joining NREL in 2009, he worked as a research associate at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. He holds a BA in mathematics and environmental studies from Hamline University and a Master’s of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The Energy Transition Show

The Energy Transition Show will help you stay abreast of all of these fast-moving trends, covering oil, gas, coal, solar, wind, emerging renewables, nuclear, grid power, transportation systems, macroeconomics, and more. Featuring interviews some of the smartest and most knowledgeable people in energy, longtime energy expert Chris Nelder explores the global energy markets and their ongoing transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables. By engaging experts in a neutral, fact-based discussion about the difficult (even unanswerable) questions, rather than reinforcing preconceived answers, and highlighting the latest news and research, policy developments, and market events, the Energy Transition Show will stimulate your thoughts and creativity, point the way to new opportunities, and give you a new perspective on the world’s largest and most fundamental industry.

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