Straight talking: Wind offers much to a world that is short of water



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Windpower Monthly

WORLDWIDE: My enduring image from the deadly European heatwave in the summer of 2003 was the picture of bedraggled French firefighters spraying what looked like a pathetically thin stream of water on top of the containment dome of a nuclear power plant in an attempt to keep the reactor cool.

The water levels in the Loire river had sunk below the intake level and, although the reactor had been shut down, there was no way to cool it. All in all, 17 of France’s 53 reactors had to be shut down or severely curtailed.

As we experience what is very likely to be the warmest year on planet Earth in thousands of years, coupled with a strong El Nino, we are reminded of the dire consequences of both our misuse of precious fresh water resources and the consequences of changes to the hydrological cycle for our unsustainable energy system.