With the risk of a global water crisis, growth partnership company, Frost & Sullivan, has recently released an analysis report that could see the benefits of solar photovoltaic (PV) extend beyond its intended function of generating clean power, but water as well.
The analysis, Technology Breakthroughs Shaping the Future of Atmospheric Water Generation, has identified that through using atmospheric water generation (AWG) technology, water can be harvested from the air using solar energy.
With many rural African countries unable to access a conventional water source, this technology could work its way into the water-energy- food nexus, where each sector has the ability to work harmoniously with each other, delivery clean power and water while contributing towards food security and sustainability as well.
Frost & Sullivan said in a statement: “The key to the success of AWG technology is the total use of renewable energy. One of the most impactful applications is large-scale solar AWG for desert re-vegetation and agriculture.”
TechVision Research Analyst Jennifer Tan said: “Recent breakthroughs in energy-efficient technologies promise a brighter future for this once-ancient practice of obtaining water.”
This technology is best suited to hot geographical locations such as the Middle East and North Africa, where water is a scarce resource, however, these systems require significant amounts of power in order to generate water from the atmosphere, which puts it at risk with the current global energy crisis.
Frost & Sullivan said: “To enhance technology uptake, industry participants are developing AWG systems that can be run on renewable energy for both large-scale (farms, communities and municipalities) and small-scale (for households and offices) applications.
“This will make the technology more environmentally sustainable, at lower operating costs, while meeting the need for clean water.”
Tan added: “Key industry participants believe that as the market acceptance increases, the costs of AWG systems will reduce, making it a commercially feasible technology.”
With more investment in research and development this water generating technology could be a game changer for the African market.