Water is a scarce resource in many areas of the world and becoming increasingly threatened by unsustainable use combined with climate change. Water usage is an important aspect of our environmental management.
Water usage is an important aspect of our environmental management. We optimise usage of water during operations and have a focus on limiting water use in areas with high water stress. We avoid negatively impacting natural aquifers or developing within/near wetland areas where possible.See more
GRI 303-1: Interactions with water as a shared resource
Scatec’s main use of water is in the construction phase for dust suppression and for module cleaning in the operations phase of our projects. Various water sources are used in different locations including groundwater and potable water from municipal water networks. The amount of water needed depends on several factors such as vegetation, module soiling, natural cleaning due to precipitation and cleaning technologies utilised. For example, in Egypt we use tractors with cleaning brushes that radically reduce the water used for cleaning. Water used in cleaning will contain dust that was on the panels and will fall to the ground or evaporate without an environmental impact. At some power plants we use biodegradable detergents for cleaning. These are formulated to rapidly degrade to avoid environmental impacts.
Water conservation awareness, minimising water use for dust suppression by maintaining road conditions and monthly monitoring to identify causes of abnormal volumes are among the management considerations implemented at all plants. Efficiency is sought by avoiding unnecessary washing cycles and using effective washing methods like spraying. The production of solar modules requires large quantities of water. In 2021, we engaged with our two main solar module suppliers on water impacts and their reporting practices. The two suppliers report on water consumption and have targets in place to reduce both water consumption and wastewater discharge.
The environmental management plans of our projects (including waste, air emissions, wastewater, hazardous material etc.) are implemented in accordance with and within the scope of the ISO14001 certified management system. Accordingly, Scatec’s HSSE team is responsible for carrying out regular inspections and scheduled audits for monitoring compliance with requirements. Any non-conformance against the procedures is recorded in Scatec’s non-conformance database for tracking, which is established under the same system.
We optimise usage of water during operations such as implementing dry-cleaning methods for solar panel cleaning, where feasible, to minimise water use with a focus on limiting water use in areas with high water stress. We avoid negatively impacting natural aquifers or developing within/near wetland areas, where possible. We build our facilities as zero effluent facilities to ensure that untreated wastewater is not discharged to the local environment. Chemicals used for module cleaning is environmentally friendly in most projects, therefore the water from these activities is deemed environmentally safe.
Substantial amounts of water flow through our hydropower investments. Scatec does not have operational control over these projects, though we have reviewed water basin and flow management practices to ensure alignment with the requirements of the EU Taxonomy.
Our hydropower assets ensure Environmental Flows whenever it is safe to do so to maintain the downstream aquatic ecosystems and the access to water and services they provide communities, in line with IFC Performance Standards. Water basins management is a local government responsibility, and they also regulate water discharge volumes. Plant operators follow the requirements which are set to ensure minimal ecological flows, balance water availability with flow and to avoid overfilling reservoirs. Changing seasonal water availability and maximum flow are potential impacts of climate change on the hydropower plants and this will be further assessed in 2022.
GRI 303-3: Water withdrawal
Scatec reports on water extraction by source for our operational projects. Scatec identified a number of our projects located in water-stressed areas within Jordan and South Africa, as defined by the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.
The source of water in Jordan and South Africa is ground water.
Total water usage for 2022 was 26.8 million litres. The water usage within water-stressed areas, in South Africa and Jordan, reached 11.3 million litres.
|Key performance indicator||Unit||Actual 2022||Actual 2021||Actual 2020|
|Total water withdrawal||mill litres||26.8||N/A||N/A|
|- Surface water||mill litres||0|
|- Ground water||mill litres||19.2|
|- Potable water||mill litres||6.2|
|- Rainwater||mill litres||0|
|- Wastewater||mill litres||1.4|
|Total water withdrawal in water-stressed areas||mill litres||11.3||11.0||5.9|
|- South Africa (ground water)||mill litres||4.3||2.3||0.3|
|- Jordan (ground water)||mill litres||7.0||8.6||5.6|
We report on water extraction by source and volume for our operational projects located in water-stressed areas. Our projects in South Africa and Jordan are located in areas of medium or high-water risk as defined by the World Resources Institute’s “Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas” and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Water Risk Filter.
The water-stress criteria as defined by the WRI is “Baseline water stress measures the ratio of total water withdrawals to available renewable surface and groundwater supplies. Water withdrawals include domestic, industrial, irrigation, and livestock consumptive and non-consumptive uses. Available renewable water supplies include the impact of upstream consumptive water users and large dams on downstream water availability. Higher values indicate more competition among users.”