Jul 17, 2020

South Korea and China focus on green construction jobs

covid-19
China
USA
Green Infrastructure
Dan Weatherley
3 min
Green Infrastructure
We take a look at green construction jobs and how boosting them can help drive economic recovery following COVID-19...

We take a look at green construction jobs and how boosting them can help drive economic recovery following COVID-19.

The impact of coronavirus has been apparent across many industries, the construction industry has been one of the hardest hit. 

Now a sudden and severe global recession has hit, lessons can be learned from the 2008 recession. Many industries recovered quicker than expected thanks to the introduction and increased focus on green economy. Green construction jobs could hold the key to quicker recovery in construction.

Green Infrastructures

An example of a solid recovery from the 2008 recession was South Korea’s 2009-10 growth. The growth was a result of the investment in sustainable transport and green infrastructure. This included various subsidy’s on clean energy solutions such as solar rooftops. 

South Korea, in addition to Ethiopia, is currently working to repeat this approach with a focus on digitalisation in order for a quicker economic recovery.

China’s first steps

As the first country to be hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, China has now begun its economic recovery. So far, it is showing signs of economic advancements. Li Fang, Chief Representative of WRI China said: "We are looking to increase investment in new infrastructure such as ultra-high-voltage grid connection to facilitate renewable energy, intercity transport and electric vehicle charging stations, 5G, artificial intelligence and the industrial internet”. 

He then went on to say: "New investment should bring long-term benefits. We are learning from the past when, after 2008, recovery carbon emissions increased faster than ever and we don’t want this to happen again."

USA set to follow

The United States was hit much harder by the coronavirus pandemic, with over three and a half million cases. Although the virus is still very active in the nation, it has begun its first steps to recovery. 

Dan Lashof, WEI’s US branch Director, is campaigning to push renewable energy and grid upgrades whilst reviving wind and solar power to be a major part of the nations post-pandemic recovery. 

He said: "The sectors used to employ 350,000 people and were fast-growing. The pre-existing tax credits can be used again. The grid can be upgraded in a smart way, and electric cars and their charging infrastructure, and transit buses can be backed, lowering operating costs. This would put thousands of electricians back to work.”

He then went on to say: "Additionally, upgrading buildings with energy efficiency and climate resilience would employ a huge number, " added Lashof. "Installing weatherisation for low income households, and retro-fitting hospitals and schools to lower their costs with more efficient equipment would also create tens of thousands of jobs. Planting trees would create 150,000 jobs, targeting agricultural land. 5 million trees would contribute significantly to the global target of 1 trillion trees planted."

Although coronavirus is still very much evident in many countries around the world, signs of recovery continue to become clearer as we enter the second half of 2020, and green investment looks like it could be the way forward to faster economic recovery in many nations across the world.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Drax
Biomass
Sustainability
BECCS
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

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).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

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.

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