Energy Blue Print
Scenarios for a future energy supply

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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future employment

Modelled energy sector jobs increase by 2015 under all scenarios. In 2010, there are 59,000 electricity sector jobs. These increase to 78,000 in the Reference scenario, 74,000 in the Energy [R]evolution scenario, and 104,000 in the Advanced scenario. Figure 7.1 shows the increase in job numbers under both Energy [R]evolution scenarios and the Reference case for each technology up to 2030, with details given in Table 7.1.

  • In the Reference case, jobs grow by 32% by 2015, and then a further 27% by 2020, to reach 94,000. There is a reduction between 2020 and 2030, but jobs in 2030 are still 67,000, 14% higher than jobs in 2010.
  • In the [R]evolution scenario, jobs increase by 25% by 2015, to 74,000. By 2020, jobs are nearly double 2010 levels at 116,000. There is a slight reduction between 2020 and 2030, but jobs are still 89% above 2010 levels at 112,000.
  • In the Advanced scenario, energy sector jobs increase by 75% between 2010 and 2015, to reach 104,000. By 2020 jobs are nearly two and a half times greater than 2010 levels, at 141,000. There is a reduction in jobs between 2020 and 2030, but 2030 jobs are still 101,000, 71% higher than jobs in 2010.
  • Solar PV and wind energy show particularly strong growth, and together account for between 51% and 77% of total energy sector employment by 2020 in all three scenarios.
  • These calculations do not include the jobs associated with decommissioning nuclear power stations, or jobs in energy efficiency. These are both likely to be significant in the Energy [R]evolution and Advanced scenarios.

    Jobs in nuclear decommissioning are likely to maintain the nuclear operations and maintenance workforce at present levels (approximately 6,000 jobs) at least until 2020. 6 GW of nuclear power is phased out in the two Energy [R]evolution scenarios by 2020, with a further 2 GW phased out by 2030 in the [R]evolution scenario (a further 11 GW in the Advanced scenario).

    There is a reduction in electricity generation by 2030 of more than 30% in both the Energy [R]evolution scenarios compared to the Reference scenario, which is likely to create a significant number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector, although it is beyond the scope of this work to estimate numbers.

    Job numbers in the Reference scenario are dominated by the nuclear, PV and wind industries. The nuclear sector accounts for nearly 50% of electricity sector employment in 2010, mainly because of construction work on new reactors. Numbers of jobs in the nuclear industry remain relatively constant to 2030, at around 29,000. Jobs in solar PV grow strongly until 2020, reaching 29,000, and then fall back to 11,000 by 2030. Employment in coal, oil and gas falls slightly over the same period, from 12,000 in 2010 to 9,000 in 2030.

    The [R]evolution scenario shows considerable growth across the renewable sector, with 82,000 new jobs by 2020 which are maintained until 2030. Solar PV accounts for 45,000 and wind 44,000 jobs in 2020. By 2030, wind is the largest sector, accounting for 48,000 jobs. followed by PV and then bioenergy. There are significant reductions in jobs in the nuclear industry, although these are exceeded by the job creation in the renewable sector. By 2030 there are 112,000 electricity sector jobs, 89% above 2010 levels.

    The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario shows even stronger growth at 2015 and 2020, mainly concentrated in solar PV and wind energy. Solar PV accounts for 43% of electricity sector employment in 2015 (45,000 jobs), and wind for 33% (34,000 jobs). Both sectors continue to grow strongly to 2020. Wind energy jobs fall back slightly to 44,000 jobs by 2030, while PV declines to 20,000 jobs by 2030; this is offset somewhat by the increase in bioenergy jobs. At 2030 there are 101,000 energy sector jobs, 71% above 2010 levels.