Apr 26, 2017

Impacts of California’s Five-Year (2012-2016) Drought on Hydroelectricity Generation

by
Peter Gleick
,
Pacific Institute

There are lots of impacts of the drought and we’re just beginning to understand what the impacts were, and they’re not negligible. This was a consequence that we’re having to pay for.

Peter Gleick, report author


  • Finds that Californians’ electricity costs jumped by a combined $2.45 billion from 2012 to 2016 because of severe shortages of cheap hydroelectricity
  • Finds that carbon emissions from the state’s power plants rose by 10 percent during the drought as utilities shifted to conventional sources like natural gas
  • Underscores the importance of hydro to California’s energy portfolio