Expert View

Energy–Water–Food Nexus and Recommendations for Security

[+] Author and Article Information
Kaufui Vincent Wong

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Miami,
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 28, 2014; final manuscript received September 25, 2014; published online October 21, 2014. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 137(3), 034701 (Oct 21, 2014) (4 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1230; doi: 10.1115/1.4028773 History: Received July 28, 2014; Revised September 25, 2014

The clean, renewable sources of energy are the wind, water, and the sun. Geothermal energy from the Earth is a good source of energy for electricity generation that has not been fully utilized. Sustainable energy sources must have “respect for environment” in the center of the 4-cornered diamond. Respect for the environment is very critical for the energy sources to be long lasting and thus sustainable. Respect for the environment needs to be the central philosophy of keeping the three components of the environment clean and healthy. These components—air, water and the land, overlap three of the four sources of clean energy. Mankind has to be responsible custodians of these three natural resources. One main cause of the energy–water nexus is that about 90% of the world's electricity is manufactured following the Rankine cycle for power generation, and water is used for the removal of heat from the condenser. The energy–water–food nexus arise in some parts of the world mainly because of the local climatic conditions. High population density involved mainly with agriculture and adverse climatic events (floods from melting glaciers owing to climate change) are the major factors that cause these energy–water–food nexus problems. Areas identified to have these energy–water–food problems include several parts of Saharan Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Japan, and the Punjab.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Water availability of world nations for food security. The countries with<1300 m3 per capita per year are deficient. Source: Rockstrom et al. [1].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

A diagram depicting the energy–water–food nexus [5]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

A diagram depicting the three main components of the environment [10]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

A diagram depicting the four clean sources of energy



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