CARBON FOOTPRINT CALCULATION OF DESALINATION UNITS IN GREECE
Fresh water shortage is one of the greatest problems of modern society; the explosive increase in world population, along with the unusual socio-economic development have led to an increased water demand, making water shortage a critical issue for countries like Greece. Desalination of seawater is suitable for supplying arid regions of the country with potable water and is becoming the dominant alternative in drinking water production, but may be energy intensive. On the other hand, global warming initiatives push for sustainable alternatives that will produce minimal or negligible quantities of CO2 to prevent climate change conditions. In this paper, a survey of several desalination plants in Greece is conducted, studying their energy usage patterns, in an effort to determine their carbon footprint. Specifically, a questionnaire has been sent out to desalination plants that addresses questions relative to the location and size of the plants, plant equipment condition, water production seasonality, whether energy required is generated on-site, or is purchased by a power plant and possible use of renewable energy sources. A different survey of the Greek Public Power Corporation has been conducted, in order to determine the type of fuel used by the power plants that supply each desalination plant with energy. Taking into account all this information and other energy-related factors, we provide estimates of the carbon footprint of several desalination plants in Greece.