EIA: Electricity Generation Jobs Down Except in Renewables
Give yourselves a pat on the back, renewable energy. Looks like you’ve weathered the last four years better than others.
According to a U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) report released on December, the electric power generation sector suffered across the board decreases in job numbers between January 2011 and June 2014 with one interesting exception—renewables. While fossil fuels were down 1 percent, nuclear fell 9 percent and hydroelectric power dropped 6 percent, all non-hydro renewables showed marked increases.
While nation-wide the electricity generation sector lost over 5,800 jobs in that period, non-hydro renewables were up by almost 1,800. That equated to a roughly 16 percent gain in wind, 20 percent in biomass, 9 percent in geothermal and a whopping 201 percent in solar. Those numbers are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“BLS data shown here only reflect jobs in electric power generation, not the jobs associated with electric transmission and distribution systems,” the EIA stated. “Also, jobs involved in the construction of new facilities, processing or transportation of fuels, or behind-the-meter distributed generation installations and service (e.g., solar panel installers) are not counted by BLS as jobs in the electric power sector.”
The report added, “The overall decline in electric power generation jobs coincides with a period in which the United States has seen declining year-over-year electricity sales, driven by energy efficiency improvements, and growth in distributed generation, such as behind-the-meter rooftop solar, among other factors. Additionally, the growth in some types of non-hydro renewable generation, particularly wind and solar, brings relatively few ongoing operations and maintenance jobs.”
To see the full report, click here.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.