As everyone knows, California is mired in a record drought. It usually gets lost in the shuffle that this has an impact on California’s energy supply, since the state has a non-trivial amount of hydropower: when you don’t have water, you can’t run the turbines in the dams.
What happens when it doesn’t rain and the wind doesn’t blow? Turns out California is experiencing something of a wind-drought, too, as explained by our friends at the Institute for Energy Research:
For instance, capacity factors for wind units on the U.S. West Coast for the first five months of this year were consistently below their previous five-year average because wind speeds dropped in California, Oregon and Washington. In January, wind speeds were approximately 20 percent to 45 percent lower than normal for portions of the West Coast, and capacity factors for wind plants in California, Oregon, and Washington were about 50 percent lower than the January average of the previous five years.
Read the whole thing.