Sunday, January 19, 2014

California Drought Effect on Hydro Generation

The high profile drought in California will affect many industries but with regard to hydroelectric generation, California depends more on imported hydro from the Colorado River Basin and the Pacific Northwest, both areas that are thus far less affected by drought.  

Here's a look at California's hydro generation to date in 2014.  It's running at about half the rate of last year.  To give perspective, total demand this time of year averages 550 - 600 GWh per day.  So hydro met about 10% of demand last year, and is current running more like 5%.  Fortunately, demand is down this season in California, and solar is picking up some of the responsibilities.