The researchers of Syndex presented the first overview of a number of existing scenarios and their employment consequences regarding the energy mix and reduction of CO2 emissions for 2030 and 2050. This included the recent European Climate Foundation roadmaps 2050, the Eurelectric power choices scenarios and the European Commission’s Renewables and employment study.
While there are major differences these studies see the continuation of a complete fuel mix. Differences are existing with regard to the % of renewables, nuclear energy and coal and gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the final mix, or with regard to the subsidies that are needed. Some studies take a bottom up approach extrapolating from what companies are foreseeing while others have a more top down approach working backwards from what the situation should be.
It was also the first time the Eurelectric powerchoices scenarios were submitted to an employment simulation. It demonstrated a positive employment effect. This is a common feature of all studies: an increase in employment in the electricity and related sectors such a manufacturing (windmills, solar power panels e.g.). The information available about the employment consequences of new technologies such as smart grids is scarce.
A great number of critical comments were made on the work done so far and areas for further work such as around what the sector needs regarding competencies and skills in the future and availability of qualified staff. The drafts will be further developed. The Steering Committee also agreed to proceed with a questionnaire to unions and companies and with proposals for a national consultation and discussion on the future of the electricity industry, its employment and climate change.
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