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Integrated Approaches

Cross-sectoral Issues and Integrated Solutions

Competition for energy, water, and food resources is a grand societal challenge of our time. With global drivers such as population growth, climate change, changing consumption patterns, and urbanization, there are ever increasing demands for reliable energy, clean water, and dependable food resources. These resources are inherently interconnected as land and energy are needed to treat and distribute water, land and water are used to generate energy and grow food and energy crops, energy and water are used for food production, and land use decisions impact land availability for human development and ecosystems as well as the availability and quality of water supplies.

schematic illustrating integrated approaches to the energy-water-food nexus

As identified in the Bonn2011 Conference on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, “in our interconnected world, sectoral “silos” are no longer acceptable ways to approach our targets, because solutions based only on one sector or discipline will unavoidably affect other sectors, whether by design or accident. Nowhere are the interconnections more evident—and critical—than in the water, energy and food sectors, because each is not only connected to, but is also dependent on, the others”. To ensure the health and prosperity of future generations it is essential that development is conducted in a manner that considers the energy, water and food sectors holistically. The energy-water-food nexus perspective offers a new paradigm of thinking that breaks down silos between sectors and uses an integrated approach to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist at the nexus of energy, water and food resources.

This section considers how development affects the three sectors of energy, water and food using an integrated perspective that accounts for both direct and indirect impacts as well as synergies. Integrated approaches include policies, tools and techniques that facilitate nexus thinking or problem solving. These resources can be used to inform analysis, planning and solutions development at national, regional, state and local levels.

Integrated approaches are solutions that include all three aspects of the nexus in their assessment and can be broken down into the following key topic areas:

Resources CESC

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Resources countries

Deployment Data

2023 Electricity Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) Data Download

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) created the Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) products to provide transparent, standardized data and modeling…

Sources:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Date:

1 January 2023

Tools and Websites

Global Change Analysis Model

GCAM is a market equilibrium model with a global scope and operates from 1990 to 2100 in five-year time steps.…

Sources:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Tools and Websites

Global Fuel Economy Initiative Toolkit

The GFEI toolkit aims to help navigate the main steps needed to develop fuel economy policy to improve vehicle efficiency…

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Global Fuel Economy Initiative

Tools and Websites

Innovation in Isolation: Islands and the Energy Transition

This article discusses how islands, despite facing challenges such as limited resources and financing, have the potential to lead the…

Sources:

Kleinmnan Center for Energy Policy

Date:

1 December 2020

Publication

Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan Progress Report 2023

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) plays a key role in coordinating European and national R&I agendas for low-carbon…

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European Commission

Date:

10 November 2023

Tools and Websites

A Canadian Approach to Innovative Financing for Sustainable Development

This document lays out why, how and when Canada will draw on innovative financial instruments to support the achievement of…

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Government of Canada

Date:

10 October 2020

Publication

Mexico Energy Profile

The Latin America Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency’s first in-depth and comprehensive assessment of Latin America and the Caribbean,…

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International Energy Agency

Date:

1 November 2023

Publication

NASEO’s State Energy Planning Guidelines: Guidance for States in Developing Comprehensive Energy Plans and Policy Recommendations

The NASEO State Energy Planning Guidelines (the Guidelines) provide State Energy Directors with guidance, information and best practices that result…

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National Association of State Energy Officials

Date:

1 January 2018

Publication

The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2022: The geography of food and agricultural trade

The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2022 (SOCO 2022) discusses how trade policies, based on both multilateral and regional approaches,…

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Date:

1 January 2022

Publication

Denmark 2023: Energy Policy Review

This Energy Policy Review was prepared in partnership between the Government of Denmark and the IEA. It draws on the…

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International Energy Agency

Date:

1 December 2023

Publication

Gender Equality in the Sustainable Energy Transition

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women…

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United Nations Industrial Development Organizations

United Nations Women

Date:

1 January 2023

Publication

The Fifth National Climate Assessment

The Fifth National Climate Assessment is the US Government’s preeminent report on climate change impacts, risks, and responses. It is…

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U.S. Global Change Research Program

Date:

1 January 2023

Tools and Websites

Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

The United Nations has set forth 17 Sustainable Development Goals addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to…

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United Nations

Publication

Uttar Pradesh Solar Energy Policy - 2022

The Uttar Pradesh Solar Energy Policy -2022 policy focuses on providing low cost and reliable power to the people of…

Sources:

Invest UP, Government of Uttar Pradesh, India

Date:

1 November 2022

Publication

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmarks, With Minimum Sustainable Price Analysis: Q1 2022

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) publishes benchmark reports that disaggregate photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage (battery) system installation costs…

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National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Date:

1 September 2022

Publication

2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP)

The 2022 ISP provides a comprehensive roadmap for the National Electricity Market in Australia. It draws on extensive stakeholder engagement…

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Australian Energy Market Operator

Date:

1 June 2022

Publication

Diversity in Clean Energy

The clean energy industry faces a diversity issue, predominantly comprising white men despite spanning multiple sectors like construction, utilities, manufacturing,…

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Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)

Date:

1 January 2021

Publication

A Review of the Current State of Research on the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus

The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the water, energy, and food nexus and regions of study,…

Sources:

Elsevier

Date:

1 June 2017