Research Focus Areas
PIER Environmental Research - Aquatic Resources and Energy
Water is involved in almost every aspect of producing, generating or processing energy within California, including for hydroelectric generation, for steam and cooling in thermal power plants, and for production and refining of fuels. Alternative fuel options can also impact water demand, such biofuels having substantial water requirements for production, as well as for growing and processing biofuel feedstocks.
California is facing severe water constraints in the coming decades. An understanding of the water requirements and its impacts for new energy sources is the first step toward formulating sound policies and management strategies addressing these constraints. Critical research about the interactions between energy and water use and water impacts remains to be performed.
The Aquatic Resources focus area in PIER-EA addresses the interaction of water and energy in California with an emphasis on:
- Reducing the water demand of energy production and generation.
- Reducing the effects of electricity generation on aquatic species and habitats. and
- Improving water and energy management.
- Integrated Forecast and Reservoir Management (INFORM) for Northern California: System Demonstration and Initial Demonstration. 2006.
- Developing Wave Energy In Coastal California: Potential Socio-Economic and Environmental Effects. 2008.
- Cost and Value of Water Use at Combined-Cycle Power Plants. 2006.
- Understanding Entrainment at Coastal Power Plants: Results from the W.I.S.E.R. Program for Studying Impacts and Their Reduction. 2010.
- Performance Trends of an Air-Cooled Steam Condenser Under Windy Conditions. 2007.