DOCUMENT RESUME 02167 - A15725401 H sFtrt C'R [Cost and Employment Impacts of Various Energy Technologies]. EMD-77-42; B-118205. May 23, 1977. 3 pp. Report to Sen. James Abourezk; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General. Issue Area: Energy (1600). Contact: Energy and Minerals Div. Budget Function: Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy: Energy (305). Organization Concerned: Energy Research and Development Administration. Congressional Relevance: Sen. James Abourezk. Cost and employment impacts involved in the fuel cycles of various energy technologies could not be compared on a consistent basis needed for valid comparisons. Findings/Conclusions: The following steps appear to be necessary as a starting point to initiate the dialogue in developing a basis for analyzing the cost and employment impacts of energy technologies on a consistent basis: (1) the energy technologies should be analyzed on a basis providing energy for the same level of end use; (2) total employment impacts should be estimated for both the technologies nd the industries which support them; (3) differences in investments required to generate each job should be determined; and (4) differences in the nat ure and duration of employment should be determined. The following basic elements are necessary in order to perform this analysis: (1) a framework for transforming a raw material into consumable energy under each technology considered; (2) data on the co: and employment requirements for each step of the transformation; and (3) a common level of end use for the technologies. Aside from providing a consistent basis for comparing technologies independent of energy growth projections, this framework makes it possible to distinguish between short-term and long-term employment on a consistent basis. (SC) _qtrj~ _-No' _z,-k* vsed ... ptsuidO t fltnafl @s¢}Z3;t Gus bras o sclfl approval 0 R.a*^ici;.rrt-, STATEs COM-TP.OR GENAL OF THE UNITE / "/1/' r41 B-178205 C> The Honorable James Abourezk United States Senate in later discussions In your letter of March 3, 1977, and from existing with your office, we were asked to determine in the cost and employment impacts involved l iterature the identify such To fuel cycles of various energy techrologies. studies and consulted impacts we reviewed numerous reports a;d and research groups in various Federal agencies and planning of energy systems, researchers familiar with evaluations trends, and policies. estimate the cost Although some studies have attempted to the impacts and employment impacts of energy technologies, within the context of a projected primarily were analyzed technology in demand and the role of each growth in energy the-demand. As a result, we meeting its assumed share ofand employment impacts of these could not compnare the cost technologies on a consistent basis needed for valid comparisons. point to initiate the It seems to us that as a startinc the cost and dialogue gin developing a basis for analyzing on a consistent employment i.pacts of energy technologies basis, the following steps are necessary. be analyzed on -- The energy technologies should a basis of providing energy for the same level of end use. for -- Total employment impacts should be estimated tne industries which both the technologies and support them. to generate -- Differences in investments required each job should be determined. of -- Differences in the nature and duration employment should be determined. and employment To aid in your further effcrts on the cost we developed a methodolcgy impacts of energy technologies, taken. The methodolcgy which should allow these steps to be basis for comparison by measuring would provide a consistent EMD-77-42 B-178205 the production or conservation activities required under different technologies to provide a fixed amount of energy for a common end use. In this way, one can better identify the incremental cost and employment impacts of different energy technologies. The following basic elements are needed to do the analysis: --A framework for transforming a raw material into consumable energy under each technology considered. --Data on the cost and employment reauiremer' for each step of the transformation. -- A common level of end use for the technologies. There seems to be considerable agreement in describing most technologies' eneray cycles and on many of the principal assumptions related to them. This general agreement estab- lishes a ramework which can be used to identify the material flow and numbers of facilities in a typical or average energy cycle. Data used in a number of recent studies of e:nployment and capital needs for energy technologies were obtained from the "Energy Supply Planning Model" prepared by the Bechtel Corporation for the National Science Foundation, which is a commonly used data base for employment and investment reauire- ments. These studies encompassed a broad range of opinion in the energy area. However, for those technologies it covers, the Bechtel data base provides only a measure of direct employment, not indirect employment. Total employment estimates are lacking for most of the energy technologies researched. A serious data gap identi fied during our research was the absence of measures of indirtt:ct employment. Indirect employment is the employment associated with the work done in the industries which supply the required materials and services to an energy technology. Accounting for indirect mployment may or may not substantially alter the relative impacts of different technologies. Because a study which comprehensively evaluated indirect employment impacts would require a considerably greater investment in time and money than an evaluation of direct employment impacts only, we believe it is appropriate to analyze indirect employ- ment only if other considerations are relatively in balance and indirect employment iacts could be a significant factor in decisionmaking. 2 B- 178205 end use For the final element in the analysis, the most common to selected should be the primary use which is the technologies being compared. The most common use for the heating. It is technologies we researched was residential basis of pro- important to place the technologies on a common con- use in order to viding energy for the same level of end For example, current sider the total system requirements. require a backup from another energy source, solar systems The common end use approach such as electricity or gas. backup to be added to would require the impacts of solar's the break-even the solar system requirements in comparing which do not require point of solar with other technologies similar backup. comparing Aside from providing a consistent basis f(r energy growth projections, this technologies independent of to distinguish between short-term framework makes it possible on a con- (construction) and long-term (operation) employment sistent basis. For example, when employment is divided in identified in a way this manner, direct emoloymelt impacts are fluctuations which highlights the possibility of employment due to construction. to discuss We are making arrangements with your office its application, in more detail the common end use approach, and limitations. S 5y your r A Comptroller General of the United States 3
Cost and Employment Impacts of Various Energy Technologies
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-05-23.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)