Nearly 2.7 million Americans work
directly for the electric power industry
while roughly 5 percent of the nation’s jobs
are linked to the sector somehow, according to a new report released in August.
The electric power industry altogether
contributes about $880 billion annually
to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP),
itself about 5 percent of the total national
GDP, reads the findings from consulting
firm M.J. Bradley & Associates’ report,
“Powering America: The Economic and
Workforce Contributions of the U.S.
Electric Power Industry.”
The tally was conducted for the Edison
Electric Institute, the American Public
Power Association and the National
Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Results indicate that the electric power
sector also spends deeply on infrastruc-
ture and at a quickening pace.
“In 2016, the industry’s capital
investments exceeded $135 billion—a
level of investment that is more than twice
what it was a decade ago,” the report
says. “These investments benefit customers
and support jobs dedicated to building
smarter energy infrastructure and to cre-
ating a cleaner generation fleet. Many of
the individuals who support and build
infrastructure projects are represented by
In 2015, the median income for elec-
tric power industry jobs hovered around
$73,000—twice the national median.
Benefits lifted that total closer to $100,000,
according to the Bradley report. Many of
those employees have been working for their
companies 15 years or longer, indicating job
stability in the ever-changing economy.
More growth poten-
tial and financial chal-
lenges are on the way,
despite falling demand for
traditional revenue sources. A Washington
State University Energy Program report from
2013 estimated that the sector will need to
invest about $1.5 trillion on upgrading grid
infrastructure through 2030.
Engineers, lineworkers, plant and
field operators and technicians make up
about 44 percent of the energy power
sector workforce, according to 2015 data
used in the report. Engineers typically
make close to $44 per hour.
In addition to those considered company direct workers, the sector also
employs 1.7 million contractors and supply chain employees directly or induced
from spending, according to the report.
ELECTRIC POWER SECTOR ACCOUNTS FOR
20 PERCENT OF AMERICAN GDP, REPORT SAYS
of RES and load forecast by continuous-time power trajectory realization
scenarios, according to the DOE release. The results could help compensate for real-time energy imbalance and ramping requirements, as well
as enable competitive integration of energy storage devices and
The federal investment is $357,339, with an additional cost-share
The Virginia Tech project will focus on developing production costing
tools that can consider the variable nature of renewable energy sources and
treat them as generation candidates in a power system expansion plan. The
object is to develop a probability-based model for effective load carrying
capacity and cost-effective integration of renewables into the power grid.
The fundamental goal will be developing a probability-based optimization tool that can reflect the nature of solar and wind energy outputs. This
tool would allow Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission
Operators to consider renewable energy as an option for their expansion
plans and help them calculate the capacity credit for each solar or wind farm.
DOE is investing $359,691 in the Virginia Tech project. Cost share
is $89,958. Go to pgi.hotims.com for more information.
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