The state of California takes great pride in its fight against global warming, encouraging state utilities to source 33% of their electricity from renewable generation sources by 2020. However, as California continues to experience tough drought conditions for the third year in a row, the state may need to utilize more traditional power generation methods if the skies don’t open up soon.
California utilizes its natural resources by generating a good amount of its electricity using hydroelectric dams, a clean and renewable energy resource. The current drought, however, has greatly reduced many of the state’s reservoirs. Should the drought continue into the next several months or even years, many utilities will be forced to turn to purchasing power from more traditional generation methods, such as natural gas, which can be quite costly.
One of the country’s largest private fleets of hydroelectric dams is owned by California’s Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), with a total of 68 generating stations. Many of PG&E’s reservoirs are now at half their normal volume. Furthermore, local farmers have been forced to pump groundwater for crop irrigation purposes. This process requires additional electricity resources from the power grid, or the utilization of diesel-powered generators, neither of which progresses the state toward its 2020 goal.
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Written by: Absolute Consulting
Source: ABC News