7.1 future employment
Energy sector jobs are set to increase significantly by 2015 under all the energy scenarios presented. In 2010, there are nearly 76,000 electricity sector jobs41. Figure 7.1 shows the increase in job numbers under both Energy [R]evolution scenarios and the Reference scenario for each technology up to 2030, with details given in Table 7.1.
- In the Reference scenario, jobs increase 53% by 2015 (40,300 additional jobs), increase by a further 23% by 2020 (17,000 jobs), and then decrease somewhat by 2030 to a total of 111,00042.
- In the Basic Energy [R]evolution scenario, jobs increase 36% by 2015 (27,000 additional jobs), increase by a further 17% by 2020 (13,000 jobs), and then decrease only slightly by 2030 to a total of 112,000.
- In the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario, jobs increase 149% by 2015 (113,000 additional jobs), and then decrease, so that 2020 jobs are almost double the 2010 levels (140,000 total jobs). Jobs increase again to 2030, with a total of 149,000 in that year.
- Solar PV shows particularly strong growth in all three scenarios, with an additional 22,000 jobs created in both the Reference and the Basic Energy [R]evolution scenario at 2020, and nearly 45,000 jobs in the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario.
The Reference scenario increase of 40,300 jobs by 2015 is mainly divided between solar PV (15,500 jobs) and the nuclear industry (15,200 jobs). Overall jobs growth is maintained to 2020, with an additional 17,000 jobs created. These are once again mainly in solar PV and the nuclear industry. Job numbers in both industries fall significantly between 2020 and 2030, bringing about a decline over which takes the total numbers back to 111,000 by 2030. This is still 47% above 2010 levels.
The Basic Energy [R]evolution scenario increase of 27,000 jobs by 2015 includes significant growth across the renewable sector (34,000 jobs), with solar PV closely followed by wind energy and concentrating solar thermal. There is a reduction in construction jobs in the coal sector as current projects finish around 2014, and these are replaced by extensive construction in renewable energy The renewable sector expands rapidly to 2020, with 21,000 jobs added, and continues to grow slowly to 2030. By 2030 there are 112,000 electricity sector jobs, 48% above 2010 levels.
The massive growth in jobs by 2015 in the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario is mainly concentrated in the PV industry, which accounts for 77% of the increase (87,000 jobs). These are not maintained, and by 2020 have fallen to 45,000, with overall electricity sector numbers at 140,000 – almost double the 2010 level. From 2010 to 2030, overall numbers increase again, and the distribution of jobs becomes more diverse. Solar PV still accounts for the highest numbers of jobs at 2030 (32,000), followed by coal, concentrating solar thermal, biomass, and wind energy, all significant employment creators. This scenario includes an enhanced renewable technology manufacturing effort, which accounts for 14,500 export jobs by 2030. Overall electricity sector employment in 2030 is 149,000 – more than double 2010 levels.
7.2 methodology overview
Greenpeace engaged the Australian-based Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to model the employment effects of the 2009 and 2010 global energy scenarios and the 2009 South African Energy [R]evolution. These were published as “Working for the climate – Renewable Energy & The Green Job [R]evolution (2009)”43, and the “South African Energy Sector Jobs to 2030 (2010)”44. The modelling methodology was updated and published in 201045, with an improved method to calculate construction employment, and some updated global employment factors. This analysis uses the newer methodology, South African factors from the previous analysis, and 2010 global Energy [R]evolution data.
The model calculates indicative numbers for jobs that would either be created or lost under the two Energy [R]evolution scenarios and the Reference scenario, with the aim of showing the effect on employment if the world re-invents its energy mix to dramatically cut carbon emissions.
The Reference (‘business as usual’) scenario is based on the Integrated Resource Plan Policy Adjusted scenario, and has been slightly modified for the jobs analysis so that it corresponds more exactly to the IRP scenario. The Reference scenario year by year capacities have been modified using those from the IRP Table 3 (Policy Adjusted IRP), and the 2010 capacities in all scenarios have been set as the existing capacities in Table 27 of the IRP (Existing South African Generating capacity).
To calculate how many jobs will either be lost or created under the three scenarios requires a series of assumptions or calculations. These are summarised below.
- Installed electrical capacity and generation by technology for each year, from the two Energy [R]evolution scenarios and the Reference scenario.
- “Employment factors” for each technology, which give the number of jobs per unit of electrical capacity.
- A regional multiplier to adjust the employment factor when a local one not available. Employment factors from OECD data are adjusted upwards using a multiplier to allow for the fact that economic activities in regions with lower GDP per capita are generally more labour intensive.
- Decline factors, or learning adjustment rates, which are used to reduce the employment factors by a specific percentage each year, as employment per unit of capacity reduces as technologies mature.
- The percentage of manufacturing for each technology which occurs within South Africa.
- Projected South African exports of coal and renewable technologies for each scenario.
Only direct employment is included, namely jobs in construction, manufacturing, operations and maintenance, and fuel supply associated with electricity generation.
An indicative result for energy efficiency jobs is calculated, although the associated uncertainty is even greater than for energy supply. Energy efficiency employment is only calculated for the reduction in electricity generation in the [R]evolution scenarios compared to the Reference scenario, with ten per cent of this assumed to be solar water heating.
Employment numbers are indicative only, as a large number of assumptions are required to make calculations. However, within the limits of data availability, the figures presented are indicative of employment levels under the three scenarios.