Desalination Costs Using Renewable Energy Technologies (2018)

Caldera, U., Bogdanov, D., Breyer, C. Renewable Energy Powered Desalination Handbook


This chapter discusses the cost of desalination powered by 100% renewable energy power plants and demonstrates how and why renewable energy powered desalination is a lucrative option to meet the future global water demand. The global desalination demand by 2030, based solely on water stress and water demand, is estimated. Using the respective 2030 costs of renewable energy power plants, storage, and seawater reverse osmosis plants, the levelized cost of electricity and water is found. The optimal renewable energy power plants comprise solar photovoltaics and wind power plants, balanced by battery and power-to-gas storage. The global levelized cost of water range, including costs for water transportation, is found to be 1–2 €/m3. Meanwhile, the costs of fossil powered desalination plants today, excluding water transportation, is said to be in the range 0.6–1.9 €/m3. Thus, renewable energy powered desalination, explained through several figures in this chapter, can soon become a cost competitive option to satisfy global water demand.



Caldera, U., Bogdanov, D., Breyer, C., 2018. Desalination Costs Using Renewable Energy Technologies, in: Renewable Energy Powered Desalination Handbook. Elsevier, pp. 287–329.

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