LOS ANGELES, California: The American west is facing a future of reduced hydroelectric power due to ongoing droughts.
Indeed, the famed Hoover Dam in the Grand Canyon, which generates much of the electricity used in western states, saw a 25 percent decline in power output this year because of low water levels.
As reservoirs have continuously seen waters fall, numerous states' hydropower systems have been strained.
"The challenge is finding the right resource, or mix of resources, that can provide the same energy and power outputs as hydro," according to Lindsay Buckley of the California Energy Commission, as quoted by the Associated Press.
The latest federal projections hint at a 14 percent fall in the amount of hydropower produced in the U.S. in 2021, compared to one year earlier. The estimated production shortfalls are mainly being felt in states in the West that are exceedingly dependent on hydropower, with California power production estimated to have fallen by almost 50 percent.
"Hydro is a big part of the plan for making the whole system work together," according to Severin Borenstein, a renewable energy expert.
Borenstein highlighted the significance of hydropower, as California focuses on preparing electricity storage options that include battery installations for delivering energy as and when the need arises.