In May of this year the EU Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) published the EU Blue Economy Report, an analysis on the current status and emerging trends within the European Blue Economy. The report outlines the driving factors behind critical fields of the Blue Economy and describes how each of these areas will impact or be impacted by regional and global social and environmental changes in the coming decades.
Section 4.4 of the report highlights the continuing development of desalination as a key emerging area within the Blue Economy. The report identifies the growing reliance on desalination technology for fresh water in the Mediterranean basin and forecasts a strong growth in the sector over the next few years. Climate change is negatively effecting freshwater availability and desalination is poised to provide a solution to this impending crisis.
However, the report notes that the majority of existing EU desalination plants rely on reverse osmosis and it cautions that the current energy requirements of this type of desalination present a significant trade-off in terms of energy use, carbon emissions and environmental impact.
As 2019 draws to a close and REvivED water approaches its end date early next year, the Blue Economy Report serves as a reminder of the importance of continued innovation in the desalination sector. The reduced energy cost of the technology being piloted by REvivED water has already shown great potential to address the environmental and financial challenges outlined in the report.
In 2020, REvivED water hopes to demonstrate the long-term viability of applying these innovations into new and existing desalination plants, helping ensure a sustainable future where water availability and environmental protection are one and the same.