A 54 year low in Lake Mead’s water levels has cause a 23% reduction in Hoover Dam’s electrical output according to a report by the DOE.
Daily Snippet: A 1% decrease in the Colorado River stream flow equals a power decrease of 3% at the Hoover Dam.
A recent report that has accumulated data from the past few decades by the Department of Energy details the effects of climate change on our water, and in turn its effects on domestic energy production. The study looks at the interdependence of rising global temperatures, lowering humidity, exacerbated weather and droughts, and the effects on different temperature sensitive systems of energy production.
“In the summer of 2012 reduced snow pack in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and low precipitation levels reduced California’s hydroelectric power generation by 38% compared to the prior summer.” “Then drought caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop the transport of oil and coal along the Mississippi River, where water levels were too low, according to the report. Also, in September 2010, water levels in Nevada’s Lake Mead fell to a 54-year low, prompting a 23% loss in the Hoover Dam’s generation.”
“The report research indicated that nearly 60% of current thermoelectric power plants, which need water cooling to operate, are located in water-stressed areas. In addition to these issues higher temperatures will increase electrical demand for air cooling.” This increased demand in electricity, will require additional power to the grid equal to “100 new power plants.”