New research from Pike Research predicts investment in desalination plants around the world will double over the next six years, reaching nearly $87.8bn cumulative capital investment by 2016.
Costs for many key technologies have fallen, making construction of seawater to freshwater desalination plants more cost-effective for many countries and municipalities, especially in water-scarce regions. Engineers are utilizing membranes as salt barriers in a variety of technological methods, most commonly reverse osmosis. Other thermal processes such as flash distillation, multiple effect distillation and vapor compression are being used as well.
“Desalination market growth is being driven by a combination of dwindling water resources, population growth and urbanization, and lower desalination costs,” says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock.
Because initial construction of desalination plants is especially capital-intensive, Wheelock expects the lingering effects of the financial crisis to slow down the market over the next two years. However, “the outlook for the longer term remains strong, and we anticipate that desalination capital investment will double within six years.” Read more…