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Carey W. King - Energy Systems Research Newsletter (March 2014)
This is the first newsletter describing my energy systems research efforts at The University of Texas at Austin. You are on this distribution list because you are a colleague, friend, or business associate with whom I have worked or traded business cards in the past.

View my website,, to see publications, view current research projects, and download data associated with my research.

As you probably know from our previous conversations, my research seeks a systems approach to describe the role of energy and energy technologies in our past and future. This approach provides the best way to both address questions about our future economy and environment as well as understand how individual technologies can and cannot affect the macro-scale and long-run trends that will frame our future options. I seek understanding of the relationships among:
  • energy resources and technologies,
  • population demographics,
  • water and food,
  • macroeconomic factors, and 
  • implications of internalizing environmental externalities.

Two recent publications on the energy-water-environment nexus:

I edited this book, available in January 2014, for ASME as part of the efforts of the Energy-Water Nexus Interdisciplinary Council. This book is a great combination of concepts in one location and has contributions from a variety of perspectives (academics, government, environmental NGOs, and industry).  If you want to know the ins and outs of water needs for power plant cooling from the thermodynamics to environmental impacts, this is a great resource.
The purpose of this report, written for The Nature Conservancy, is to begin the conversation on the risks to conservation of regional freshwater biodiversity that are driven by national and global strategic objectives related to solving water, energy, and climate (low-carbon energy) challenges.  
Thank you
All of our time is valuable and under many demands. I plan on distributing 4-8 newsletters per year as publications and other significant information becomes publicly available.  If you agree with me that we need high quality research that critically assesses our future energy options and you want to support students looking at multidisciplinary issues that affect our energy future, then send me an e-mail or give me a call to discuss how you can get involved.

Thank you very much for your time.


Carey W. King, Ph.D., 512.471.5468

Energy-Water Nexus Book with ASME

This January ASME published the book I edited for ASME's Energy-Water Nexus Interdisciplinary Council. The book is Thermal Power Plant Cooling: Context and Engineering

Water has historically been abundant and cheap; however, the ever-growing human demands for fresh surface water and groundwater are potentially putting ecosystems at risk. Water demands for energy production and electric generation power plants are part of total water demand. This book focuses on engineering fundamentals of water use for cooling needs of thermoelectric, or steam cycle, power plants, along with environmental and economic contexts. 
The book serves as a reference and source of information to power plant owner/operators, water resource managers, energy and environmental regulators, and non-governmental organizations. From power plant owners wanting to know the tradeoffs in environmental impact and economics of cooling towers to water utilities that might want to deliver waste water for reuse for power plant cooling, this book provides a wide array of regulatory and technical discussion to meet the needs of a broad audience. 
Visit ASME's website to view the Table of Contents and purchase the book.

Energy-Water-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus: a report for The Nature Conservancy

This report is presented (i) Full Length on my website, (ii) as a Summary Discussion Paper for Global Water Forum,  and (ii) as a story on The Nature Conservancy website.  The report explores five governing principles to guide our decision making in protecting freshwater biodiversity when attempting to shift to low-carbon energy supplies:
  • Integrated Water Resources Management that includes energy production needs in water planning
  • Ensure instream environmental flows
  • Invest in low-water technologies
  • Use storage as a translational concept between energy and water
  • Ensure good data collection and management
The report builds upon a previous 2013 paper I co-authored with Kelly Sanders (now at USC), Ashlynn Stillwell (now at U. Illinois), and Michael Webber (U. Texas) in the Natural Resources Journal (NRJ): "Coherence between water and energy policies."

Both the report and 2013 NRJ paper present a very handy table of multiple energy and water technologies and management practices, matching them with the various policies and principles that can promote each option. The concepts in this report stem from a workshop, hosted by The Nature Conservancy in the Summer of 2012, in which they gathered strategic stakeholders to discuss the issues most important for understanding how freshwater biodiversity is impacted by current and future energy development. 

I thank Amanda Reed, Jimmie Powell, and Tom Murtha of The Nature Conservancy, as well as all of the stakeholders and reviewers, for working with me on this report!
To learn more about Carey's research, visit his website or contact him using this information:
e:      |  web:    |     ph: +1 512-471-5468
The University of Texas at Austin, 2304 Whitis Ave, C2400, Austin, TX 78712-1718

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Copyright © 2014 Carey W. King.
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