While there is development of desalination plants with their own power plants on-site, the majority of plants do not currently have power plants and thus are forced to pay whatever current electricity costs are. The electricity cost is one of the reasons desalination is so expensive. The other two forces that factor into the high cost of desalination are membranes replacement and labor. Trained engineers are required to operate the reverse osmosis process needed to desalinate. And the membranes required in the process can get clogged with salt and require repair which leads to their needing to be replaced about once every 2-3 years.
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