Energy Blue Print
Employment projections

The Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney modelled the effects of the Reference scenario and Energy [R]evolution Scenario on jobs in the energy sector. This section provides a simplified overview of how the calculations were performed.

fossil fuels and nuclear energy - employment, investment, and capacities

employment in coal

Jobs in the coal sector drop signficantly in both the Reference scenario and the Energy [R]evolution scenario. In the Reference scenario coal employment drops by 2.1 million jobs between 2015 and 2030, despite generation from coal nearly doubling. Coal employment in 2010 was close to 9 million, so this is in addition to a loss of 2 million jobs from 2010 to 2015.

This is because employment per ton in coal mining is falling dramtatically as efficiencies increase around the world. For example, one worker in the new Chinese ‘super mines’ is expected to produce 30,000 tons of coal per year, compared to current average productivity across all mines in China close to 700 tons per year, and average productivity per worker in North America close to 12,000 tons.

Unsurprisingly, employment in the coal sector in the Energy [R]evolution scenario falls even more, reflecting a reduction in coal generation from 41% to 19% of all generation, on top of the increase in efficiency. Coal jobs in both scenarios include coal used for heat supply.

employment in gas, oil & diesel

Employment in the gas sector stays relatatively stable in the Reference scenario, while gas generation increases by 35%. In the Energy [R]evolution scenario generation is reduced by 5% between 2015 and 2030. Employment in the sector also falls, reflecting both increasing efficiencies and the reduced generation. Gas sector jobs in both scenarios include heat supply jobs from gas.

employment in nuclear energy

Employment in nuclear energy falls by 42% in the Reference scenario between 2015 and 2030, while generation increases by 34%. In the Energy [R]evolution generation is reduced by 75% between 2015 and 2030, representing a virtual phase out of nuclear power. Employment in Energy [R]evolution increases slightly, and in 2020 and 2030 is very simliar in both scenarios. This is because jobs in nuclear decomissioning replace jobs in generation. It is expected these jobs will persist for 20 - 30 years.