Solar Can Help Solve World’s Food and Water Crises

When it comes to life on Earth’s essential needs, fossil fuels are an absolute waste.

“We need to fundamentally rethink how we produce and consume energy in relation to the water and food sectors,” director Adnan Amin explains in the foreword of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s new report, Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy and Food Nexus (PDF). “Renewable energy technologies provide access to a cost-effective, secure
and environmentally sustainable supply of energy.”

By 2050, the report notes, global demand for energy will double while demand for water and food will increase 50 percent — and there is simply no way that the traditional energy industry as we know it can help, given global warming’s megadroughts and superstorms. Policymakers and others looking for security in these sectors will find none, unless renewable energy is significantly mobilized. Keeping the lights on these days requires 15 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, while 70 percent of freshwater use comes from the “agri-food supply chain,” which also consumes 30 percent of the world’s energy.

This is the definition of an industry way out of whack.