Climate change has increased the drought, causing California’s hydropower supply to reach the second lowest level since 2001, and causing the state’s electricity prices to soar by 150% in three months.
However, according to a report from a credit rating agency yesterday, some of the biggest beneficiaries of the price spike are fossil fuel power generators, whose emissions will only exacerbate global warming.
According to sustainability experts, California’s dilemma — where emissions-free hydropower is replaced by global warming electricity from natural gas power plants — highlights the need to quickly decarbonize the grid.
Kristen Averyt, a research professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, said: “In this way, if we do face challenges in one field of renewable energy, we will be able to use renewable energy in another field. Make up.” Efforts on climate resilience.
Moody’s Investor Services said in a report that in May, the monthly electricity price in California was less than $30 per MWh. By July, they had exceeded US$80 per MWh-the highest level since at least 2016.
The report said: “High electricity prices are beneficial to non-hydro power companies selling to the California electricity market.”
Moody’s highlighted three power producers that will benefit from the decline in hydropower caused by the drought in the state: Calpine Corp., Vistra Corp. and Generation Bridge LLC.
According to company data, Houston-based Calpine has 35 power plants in California with a generating capacity of 6,425 megawatts. Of this power generation, 88% is powered by fossil fuels.
Another Texas company, Vistra, is more dependent on fossil fuels. Carbon Tracking Initiative, a clean energy think tank, estimate 90% of the ship’s power generation capacity comes from natural gas and coal-fired power plants.
At the same time, according to a Moody’s report earlier this month, Generation Bridge is a holding company consisting entirely of gas and oil-fired peak shaving power plants.
In California, Generation Bridge has two peak gas power stations that can generate 773 MW of electricity when the state’s electricity demand reaches its peak. The holding company is owned by a fund of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, a Boston-based private equity firm.
Averyt said purchasing electricity from these companies may help California maintain lighting in the short term, but it is detrimental to the country’s long-term climate goals.
“The last thing we want to do now is to increase emissions,” she said.
Calpine, Vistra and ArcLight did not respond to requests for comment.
Historically, hydroelectric power has provided approximately 15% of California’s electricity. But decades of drought caused the industry’s output to plummet.
Earlier this month, low water levels at the Oroville Dam forced the state to shut down one of its largest hydroelectric facilities, the Edward Hyatt Power Plant.green Line, August 6).
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