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In the energy sector, common impacts include decrease of energy production in thermal plants due to low river discharges (and reduced access to cooling water); decrease of electricity production in hydropower plants due to low reservoir levels, and increased electricity prices. The EU Commission’s reiterated commitment to achieve climate neutrality and fully decarbonised power generation by 2050, with 80% of the union’s power generated from renewable sources, opens expectations for future changes in the sector’s water demand. Links to water stress in the Renewable Energy Directive (EC, 2009) and the EU’s Energy Union Strategy (EC, 2015a) are indirect and mainly stem from integrated climate and energy planning and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions. The more recent EU Strategy for Energy System Integration 2020 (EC, 2020c) includes considerations on the water footprint of EU energy production and the potential for sustainable production of bioenergy from wastewater.

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