Natural gas-fired electricity generation would pick up the slack in California left by the state’s drought-compromised hydropower resources, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In a recent analysis, researchers found that California’s extended drought could cut the share of summer electricity generation from hydropower to only 8%, or 6.8 million MWh, from June through September. Under normal precipitation conditions, hydro accounts for 15%, or 13.2 million MWh of generation during the four-month period, said EIA.

This past winter’s below-average snowpack, needed to replenish hydroelectric reservoirs, has exacerbated the situation, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

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