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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


In our built environment, societal production of energy and clean water is inextricably linked to the natural resources from which they are derived. Acknowledgement and consideration of the coupling of energy, water, and the environment (the energy–water–environment nexus) will be critical to a sustainable future. This is particularly true as we transition away from historical energy sources (e.g., coal, petroleum, natural gas) and into the widespread adaptation of renewable energy (RE) sources (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, bioenergy) as a strategy to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and consequently slow global climate change. This transition is fraught with both challenges and opportunities at the county, state, national, and international levels, as addressing future societal needs with respect to energy and water, and the environment requires recognition of their interdependence and development of new technologies and societal practices. In this study, the focus is on the RE–water–environment (REWE) nexus. In California, the REWE nexus is becoming increasingly important in achieving 100% clean electricity from eligible RE and zero-carbon resources by 2045 and in the face of climate change and population and economic growth. In this context, California’s RE deployment and renewable electrical generation, its RE legislative information, REWE nexus, and intertwined REWE nexus challenges and opportunities in California (e.g., administrative–legal, technology development, digitalization, and end-of-life RE waste) are comprehensively discussed to identify the knowledge gaps in this nexus and solutions.

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Sustainability (Switzerland)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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