Table 1. Water withdrawal reported volumes for different fuels and cooling technologies (Gleick 1994, Goldstein and Smith 2002a, Woods et al. 2007, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2008). Air-cooling requires negligible water and is compatible with all of the technologies listed.

  Cooling Technologies – Water Withdrawal (L [MWh]-1)†
Open-Loop Closed-Loop Reservoir Closed-Loop Cooling Tower Hybrid Cooling Air-Cooling
Coal 132,000
(±57,000)
1700
(±500)
2100
(±200)
between <400
Nuclear 161,000
(±66,000)
3000
(±1,100)
3600
(±600)
between <400
Natural Gas Combustion Turbine negligible negligible negligible negligible negligible
Natural Gas Combined-Cycle 52,000
(±24,000)
600
(±100)
900 between <400
Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle not used not used 1500
(±400)
between <400
Concentrated Solar Power not used not used 3200
(±300)
between <400
Wind none none none none none
Photovoltaic Solar none none none none none

†L [MWh]-1: liters per megawatt-hour
‡Estimated based on withdrawal and consumption ratios