MATCHING or “Materials & Technologies for Performance Improvement of Cooling Systems performance in Power Plants” is a collaborative project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program, which has the aim to reduce the cooling water demand in the energy sector.
Power generation is a sector requiring great amounts of water primarily for cooling purposes. Depending on the kind of cooling system adopted (once through vs. recirculating systems) water can return to the environment. Until 2010, the EEA considered that water used = water abstraction. As a consequence, energy production accounted for 44% of the total water abstraction in the EU, primarily serving as cooling water. This index was changed in 2016 in order to take the water into account that is returned to the environment. Energy production represent now around the 17% of the total water use in the EU.
This is anyway a very huge amount. If appropriate technologies are applied, this amount could, however, be lowered. To test, demonstrate and evaluate the techno-economical feasibility of such technologies is the challenge of MATChING.