Pasqualetti: Mixing energy and water at the US/Mexico border

Professor Mike Pasqualetti was one of 7 invited speakers at a recent Stanford University symposium entitled “Uncommon Dialogue: US-Mexico Transboundary Water Issues."

Pasqualetti presented his paper “Mixing Energy and Water at the US/Mexico Border."  He proposed that land used for irrigated agriculture in the Imperial Valley of California be repurposed in favor of renewable energy development.  Such a move would save water for other purposes, decrease carbon emissions from conventional generation, and be more profitable.

The Imperial Valley has a combination of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal that provide rare synergies for such a proposal, with geothermal functioning as a “battery” to stabilize the intermittencies of solar and wind.  A preliminary estimate of the value of the electricity from renewable energy development already in place there is over $700 million per year.

The symposium was organized by two Stanford University groups, the Bill Lane Center for the American West and theWoods Institute for the Environment