California first to feel hydro-power crunch of drought

 California first to feel hydro-power crunch of drought

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - This winter's record-low snowfall means less hydroelectricity for California.

Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada stands at 12 percent of average. Energy officials say that means less melting snow throughout the year to run the turbines at dams.

California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller says it will force the state to increase its use of fossil-fuel-burning power plants. The state says it will also seek to import more electricity from states not hit as hard by drought.

The nonprofit Pacific Institute calculates that California ratepayers have already paid $1.4 billion more in utility costs because of the falling snowpack and hydro power. The center says using more natural-gas-fired power plants has increased greenhouse-gas emissions by 8 percent.

Subscribe to Power Engineering magazine

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...