Renewable energy integrated desalination: A sustainable solution to overcome future fresh-water scarcity in India

S Manju, Netramani Sagar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas have been used as the major sources of energy in the recent past. However, the negative environmental impacts associated with the emission of the greenhouse gases from these conventional energy sources forced to realize the importance of renewable energy resources. At the same time, the average annual exponential rate of population growth in India needs increasing amounts of fresh-water for the basic necessities. This might result in water scarcity as the overall population in India is expected to increase to 1.60 billion by 2050. It has been forecasted that, by the year 2040, India will rank 40th in the world in terms of water scarcity. To meet the rising fresh-water demand, desalination is an intelligent and sustainable option for India, which has a very long coastline measuring 7517 km. In this paper, an attempt has been made to provide a comprehensive review of water scarcity in India and suggest a possible solution, which is implementing desalination technologies coupled with renewable resources. The paper reviews the ground water scenario in India and the global desalination market. We summarize the energy consumption in various desalination processes and provide a brief outlook of the desalination techniques in India. Apart from this, desalination using non-conventional sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy is discussed. In addition, factors affecting the environment due to desalination and the potential counter measures are presented. This review aims to provide an awareness of the projected water crisis in India, in the coming decades, and is also aimed to help the policy makers for selecting an appropriate desalination technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-609
Number of pages16
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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