The announcement was made at the 6th World Water Forum held in Marseilles, France.
The IDA energy task force will encourage and promote strategies that improve energy efficiency in desalination processes, both thermal and membrane. It will be structured to include a network of experts to share best practices for energy efficiency in desalination. These professionals will represent utilities (end users) and desalination companies including suppliers, consultants, research & development institutions, academia, and IDA’s Technical Programmes Committee.
The task force will start by establishing existing energy requirements for desalination processes and outlining specific targets for each process – thermal, membrane and hybrid. The aim is for the desalination industry to develop pilot and demonstration plants meeting the stated targets.
The task force will also develop guidelines for reduction of energy in desalination processes and investigate further development and deployment of hybrid processes as well as the further use of alternative energy sources in desalination.
IDA plans to organise a conference in which its energy and environmental task forces will convene to discuss opportunities for improving energy efficiency in desalination.
“Many desalination utilities and companies are already committed to significant reduction in energy,” said Leon Awerbuch, chairman of IDA’s energy task force steering committee. “In fact, over the past two decades, energy requirements for desalination have been reduced by more than 50% and many new plants have been or are being designed to utilize renewable energy resources, with a long term goal of significantly reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
“The ultimate objective is to encourage the industry to implement these solutions in all desalination projects, using the best available technologies applicable to the location of the plants. It is the aim of the task force that the technology and the pilot and demonstration work will be adopted by water and power utilities and independent water projects and independent water and power projects around the world,” he said.