Hydroelectric generation should make up only 6% of the power load in California this year as historic drought conditions ravage the West, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA said hydroelectric generation in California in 2021 would be 19% lower than last year. It is seen falling to 13.6 million MWh in 2021 from 16.8 million MWh in 2020. 

However, researchers said higher prices would prevent natural gas from making up for the lost output. 

Most of the West is experiencing intense and historic drought conditions, with California one of the most severely affected states, according to EIA. As of June 22, the entire state was experiencing some degree of drought and more than one-third had been categorized as...