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Table 2

Water consumption for the supply of primary energy and water withdrawal and consumption for the generation of electricity

Supply of primary energyElectricity generation
L/kWhWithdrawal L/kWhLosses (evaporation) L/kWh
Crude oil 4.0a – – 
Nuclear 0.1–0.2b 95–227a 2–10b 3–7a 
Coal 0.6a 0.02–0.25b 75–190a average 136b 2–6a 0.15–4.2b 
Natural gas 0.4a average 53b 0–4.1b 
Biomass: biogas – – 165–1,400c, 230d 
Biomass: ethanol Biomass: biodiesel 212–1,508c 1,418–2,066c – – – – 
Supply of primary energyElectricity generation
L/kWhWithdrawal L/kWhLosses (evaporation) L/kWh
Crude oil 4.0a – – 
Nuclear 0.1–0.2b 95–227a 2–10b 3–7a 
Coal 0.6a 0.02–0.25b 75–190a average 136b 2–6a 0.15–4.2b 
Natural gas 0.4a average 53b 0–4.1b 
Biomass: biogas – – 165–1,400c, 230d 
Biomass: ethanol Biomass: biodiesel 212–1,508c 1,418–2,066c – – – – 

aOlsson (2012); water usage for electrical generation: water loss about 3% of total water withdrawal.

bMcMahon & Price (2011) (also Gleick 1994; USDoE 2006).

cGerbens-Leenes et al. (2008, 2009); sum of blue water (surface and groundwater for irrigation evaporated during growth) and green water (rainwater that evaporated during production); maximum possible electricity capacity via Carnot process assumed 59%.

dExample of Germany, biogas plant with corn plants (Rosenwinkel et al. 2012).

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