A natural-gas shortage is looming in California, with the drought forcing utilities to shut down operations and cutting electricity supplies to millions of customers, forcing the state to ration electricity usage, and forcing the closure of some gas-fired power plants.
The state is facing a “natural gas supply shortage,” according to a report by the state’s energy and environment department, and it is the “biggest challenge facing California in decades.”
The report comes as California’s utilities continue to operate amid an ongoing power outage.
The utility said Tuesday that it has already seen a decline in demand for gas-powered generators, as consumers have started to ration their electricity usage.
California’s energy system is also suffering from an ongoing drought, with some counties reporting a lack of water.
That could lead to an even bigger problem for the state, as it will need to ration water for a growing population in the coming months.
But that doesn’t mean California isn’t facing another natural gas supply crisis.
A new report from the California Independent System Operator (CISO) shows that the state has an estimated “natural-gas shortfall of approximately 7.5 million to 8.5 billion gallons of natural gas per year, according to CISO.
That’s equal to about 1.5% of California’s total natural gas storage capacity, and nearly twice as much as the state had anticipated at the beginning of the drought,” according the report.
It’s not clear how much of that shortfall comes from the drought and how much from natural gas shortages.
California is the largest producer of natural-gases in the U.S., and in recent years, the state is becoming increasingly reliant on the industry.
The U.K. is also looking to ramp up natural gas production, but its peak is only expected to be around 2020.