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US drought hits hydropower production

Rising natural gas demand could provide sustained hit to state decarbonisation plans

A drought in California is reducing hydropower production and forcing the state to rely more heavily on natural gas, in turn increasing emissions. California typically relies on hydropower for 10-20pc of its in-state electricity demand. That level fell below 8pc between 2012 and 2016 due to droughts. This year, hydropower has fallen to meet less than 4pc of state electricity demand during the first quarter, according to EIA data. Rising temperatures will actually mean higher average rainfall globally, explains Peter Gleick, founder of the Pacific Institute, a water resources thinktank in Oakland, California. 4pc – Californian power demand met by hydro in first quarter “But no

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