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Drought is cutting California’s hydroelectricity. Here’s what that means for clean energy.


Regular hydroelectricity burnt because of its environmental impact, because dams disrupt ecosystems. In fact, the current California Not count for large hydroelectric plants in its renewable energy target. But regardless of how it is classified, hydroelectricity is a less emission alternatives to fossil fuels.

During times of high stress on the grid, the reduced reliability of hydropower has caused problems, Brian Tarrojaan energy researcher at the University of California, Irvine.

Last year, the Bootleg Fire in neighboring Oregon affected several power lines in California at a time when rising temperatures had increased electricity demand. Operating hydropower plants at reduced capacity while ramping up natural gas plants is barely enough to keep the power on.

Tarroja says these difficulties are likely to continue. Climate change is altering rainfall patterns and causing higher temperatures, even if overall rainfall remains constant. Possible effects chOnellenge . hydroelectricity in the coming decades.

Places with high hydroelectricity may need to start planning for the effects of climate change on electricity production. It’s not just California: droughts in Brazil and China also hydroelectricity is threatened capacity in recent years.



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