Collection |

Chemistry at the nexus of water and energy

Our ability to harness reactions that absorb or release energy is often contingent on water as a mediator. We can appreciate this simply by considering the steam that drives our electricity-generating turbines, the rivers that flow through our hydroelectric plants, and the freshwater–saltwater interface from which we can harvest blue energy. Whether we split water (as plants do), make it (as a product of combustion) or just drink it, this compound is inexorably tied to energy. Chemistry is at the heart of these topics and this collection brings together content from across Nature Research that focuses on the chemistry of energy production and water treatment.

Hydropower is critical to eastern and southern Africa but it is at risk from climate variability. Conway et al. examine river basins and rainfall variability to explore potential hydropower disruption for present and planned generation sites, highlighting the risks to supply and their spatial interlinkages.

Article | | Nature Energy

Climate change affects the availability of water for cooling thermoelectric power plants, causing curtailments in generation. This study models how future changes in water availability due to climate and water usage impacts power generation across the EU, and assesses different adaptation strategies.

Article | | Nature Energy