Apr 26, 2017

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

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