Global employment and skill level requirements for ‘Post-Carbon Europe'
The employment impacts of a transition to a post-carbon economy are receiving a lot of attention. The power industry is a crucial component of the transition since its decarbonization can also help other sectors switch to cleaner energy fuels. Restructuring away from fossil fuels will bring about associated job losses in the non-renewable energy sectors, together with job gains in the renewable energy ones. The overall net employment effects (i.e. job gains vs. job losses) depend on a number of factors, most importantly 1) labor intensity of each electricity source's operation and maintenance (jobs per MW installed), 2) jobs associated with capital investments into new electricity facilities (and replacement of old ones), 3) job losses due to electrification of other processes in the economy. Understanding the overall employment requirements would help design transition policies with regard to labor and education. We utilize a forward-looking, multi-regional input-output model that takes into account labor demand associated with capital investments in renewable energy infrastructures, separately from operation and maintenance, and adds the substitution effects associated with the projected electrification and the associated shift away from other fuels. The modeling consists of gradually replacing the production of electricity from non-renewable energy sources with renewables, by comparing the effects of two scenarios (100% renewables vs. reference trajectory) in five-year intervals until 2050. The model focuses on changes in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) and shows the employment requirements by origin, sector, and skill level (low-, medium- and high-skilled labor).
Martin Černý is doctoral candidate at Masaryk University, Brno, and currently a Junior Fellow at IHS in the Regional Science and Environmental Research group.
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