Jobs if 20 percent Saskatchewan electricity generated with wind
Given the lack of development of the Saskatchewan wind industry and hence the absence of objective analysis of employment potential in the sector, one has to look outside the province for information.
An excellent report, released by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) in 2011, considers the wind-related jobs which could be created in Ontario. The report, 'The Economic Impacts of the Wind Energy Sector in Ontario 2011-2018' was undertaken to provide an understanding of the economic impact of substantial and sustained growth of Ontario’s wind energy industry for the period 2011 – 2018.
The report finds that the installation of 5,700 megawatts of wind from 2011 to 2018 would create 80,000 person years of employment (PYEs) - i.e. 14.2 PYEs per megawatt of installed capacity. Of that total it concludes that three-quarters would be created during construction and the remainder during operations.
To generate 20 percent of Saskatchewan's electricity would require 1,000 large wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 1,800 megawatts. Using the employment data from the previous paragraph, this implies that 25,000+ Person Years of Employment would be created of which 19,000 would be during construction and 6,000 during operations. For more information see this page.
Compare that with the 2,000 people currently employed in the Saskatchewan coal industry.
These wind jobs will not happen automatically and require stable, long-term policy so that investors and entrepreneurs can plan accordingly.
Given the thousands of redundancies taking place in oil and gas, our world-class wind (& solar) resource and the excellent economics of wind energy; it is no surprise that, in December, SaskPower finally announced a major expansion in renewable generation.
Looking for information on US employment in wind and solar and how it compares with the coal industry? Try this.
There are multiple studies on the subject but this, 'Global Green Growth: Clean Energy Industrial Investments and Expanding Job Opportunities', by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is one of the better ones not least because UNIDO, by virtue of its multi-lateral status, had to ensure that the study was reasonably non-partisan. Nonetheless and buried in page 24 of this 310 page study, is this;
"Critically, we also find that the clean energy investments create more jobs in all five countries (Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea) than spending the same amount of funds within each country’s fossil fuel sectors"
A more partisan, but nonetheless excellent, reference is the International Renewable Energy Agency's 'Renewable Energy And Jobs: Annual Review 2015' from which;