Given current global population growth, the effects of climate change and changes in water consumption trends and legislative requirements, desalination of seawater, brackish water or wastewater is amongst the most efficient alternatives to guarantee current and future water supply for urban, agricultural, tourism and industrial uses. Moreover, the great synergy between desalination and the use of renewable energy means that desalination represents a firm step in the direction of sustainability.
In general terms, the technological evolution of desalination systems and decreasing energy costs have been the two key areas of innovation in this sector. In the medium term, emerging technologies and widespread implementation of renewable energies will undoubtedly be the next technological revolution in the field of desalination.
The Canary Islands have a very high level of desalination development, not only in terms of installed capacity but also in terms of know-how. These islands, situated in the middle of the Atlantic, have the highest density of desalination plants per square kilometre in the world.
There is a great variety of plant sizes with different design conditions and location, and a wide diversity of technologies is implemented. This makes the Canary Islands an ideal place for testing and experimentation in the field of desalination. Moreover, great dependence on imported fossil fuels, along with the favourable sun and wind conditions of the islands, provide ideal opportunities to foster research, development and innovation in the implementation of renewable energies in desalination processes.
All of these factors have enabled the creation of the DESAL+ LIVING LAB in the Canary Islands. DESAL+ LIVING LAB is a testbed openaccess research ecosystem in which testing, experimentation and demonstration can be carried out for the purpose of promoting and maturing the commercial potential of a desalination-related technology, product and/or service.
Dr. Baltasar Peñate Suárez.
Head of Water Department at Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, S.A. (ITC). Coordinator of the DESAL+ LIVING LAB platform.
Vanessa Millán Gabet
Water Department Project Technician at Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, S.A. (ITC).
Aarón Peón Gil
Copywriter and content writer at Coco Solution
Published in: Nº63 FuturENVIRO September 2019