Just how clean is Australia’s water industry?

water industry
water industry

The researchers at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) School studying Chemical Engineering have been able to quantify the total value of on-site renewable electricity production in the Australian water industry, finding solar PV to be among the most adopted sources of electricity.

The research published in the magazine of Cleaner Production and UQ researchers understood that in 2018 (the study’s focus year), the Australian water industry produced 18% (279 GWh/y) of its energy demand from on-site renewable electricity sources.

Biogas from anaerobic incorporation of wastewater and drainage muck has tops the list which is 67% (187 GWh/y), and a further 2% (5.5 GWh/y) of biogas is produced through co-digestion and waste-to-energy through anaerobic absorption of organic feedstock. However, UQ’s investigators have understood these quantities will decay due to the limited financial prudence of scale in the retrieval of biogas from wastewater and sewage sludge.

Hydropower is accountable for 30% (84 GWh/y), which is going to rise in the total accountability. It is found that solar PV generates just 1% (2.2 GWh/y), the solar PV is now the most adopted source of electricity by the water industry. Despite this, the study’s abstract suggests space limitations will hinder further uptake of solar PV.

Australia’s water commerce has now begun to instrument on-site renewable energies but there are still improvements to be done. What the study also found was a great source of inspiration, understanding Australia’s water commerce is almost exclusively flexible to renewable energies, and, as such, should lead the way to Australia’s renewable reindustrialization.