The WRI says five of the world’s top coal producing/consuming countries are located on the Asian continent – and each faces high to extremely high water stress: India, Japan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and South Korea.
In China, 58% of existing coal-fired power generation capacity is located in high to extremely high water-stress areas and more capacity is planned in already stressed areas.
Seventy per cent of India’s coal-fired capacity faces water stress or scarcity – and hundreds of gigawatts of proposed plants would strain already vulnerable water supplies.
“Water is essential for energy production – when water risks arise, energy producers around the world feel the impacts,” the research paper states.
“A massive flood in Australia in 2011 reduced its coal export volume, pushing global coal prices higher.
“The water-energy nexus is becoming one of the great challenges of our generation – one that also holds significant implications for political leaders and investors alike.
“Water risks are already impacting the world’s coal industry and risks will change over time.”