As a result of harsh drought conditions in California in 2021, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the state’s hydroelectric generation to be lower in 2021 than it has been in recent years.
In the first four months of 2021, hydroelectric generation in California was 37% less than in the same four months in 2020 and 71% less than during those months in 2019. According to its Short-Term Energy Outlook, hydroelectric generation in California this year will be 19% less than last year, decreasing from 16.8 million MWh in 2020 to 13.6 million MWh in 2021.
Most of the western U.S. is experiencing intense and historic drought conditions. California is one of the most severely affected states. As of June 22, 2021, 100% of the state is experiencing some degree of drought. About 33% of the state has been categorized under exceptional drought, the most intense classification. The drought conditions have affected California’s water supply levels and hydropower plants.
Drought conditions include below-normal precipitation and snowpack accumulation, very dry soil and higher-than-normal temperatures. These factors lower the water supply available in the summer months.
Originally published by Elizabeth Ingram on hydroreview.com