In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • BP and Orsted launch a green hydrogen project at a German oil refinery.
  • Connecticut releases a statewide green energy jobs study. Here’s what the state found.
  • This Ted Talk explains how Africa needs to develop energy in order to fight climate change.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and Americans’ bank accounts — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card — *ad.

BP and green hydrogen

British oil giant BP (BP.L) and Danish renewable energy group Orsted (ORSTED.CO) have partnered to launch BP’s first full-scale hydrogen project. Production is expected to start in 2024.

The project will produce green hydrogen at the Lingen refinery in northwest Germany by using North Sea wind power.

BP and Orsted initially plan to build a 50 megawatt (MW) electrolyzer to replace 20% of natural gas-based hydrogen at the plant. The project could be expanded to up to 500 MW at a later stage to replace all of Lingen’s fossil fuel-based hydrogen, Louise Jacobson Plutt, BP’s senior vice president for hydrogen, told Reuters. BP aims to expand its hydrogen output to 10% of the market by 2030.

Anders Nordstrom, Orsted vice president for hydrogen, said:

We see a path to [price] parity with gray hydrogen [ie, hydrogen produced with natural gas] by the end of the decade.

Connecticut’s green energy jobs

Connecticut has released its “Connecticut Clean Energy Industry Report.” The report found that more than 44,000 people, an increase of 9.1% from 2015, made up the green energy workforce in the state in 2019. In total, green energy jobs accounted for 2.6% of all jobs and a gross state product of $6.5 billion in 2019.

Employment in this report is broken out into five categories: energy efficiency; clean energy generation; alternative transportation; clean grid and storage; and clean fuels. By clicking on the link above, you can see the report in full, but here are a few highlights:

  • Energy efficiency workers represent 8 out of 10 clean energy jobs. This sector has also seen the greatest growth since 2017, creating 1,257 new jobs — a growth rate of 3.6%.
  • Clean energy generation is the second-largest sector. Businesses in this sector employ 4,830 workers and experienced a growth rate of 6.2% from 2017 to 2019. The majority of these workers are in the solar or nuclear sectors.
  • The report also briefly examines the impact of the pandemic in 2020. The shutdown caused more than 6,500 industry job losses from March to May. The energy efficiency sector suffered the most, with nearly 85% of these lost jobs in that sector. Overall, the projected industry growth for the year had been estimated to surpass 46,000 clean energy jobs by the end of 2020; the current projection is now 40,668 jobs by year’s end.

Connecticut’s Department of Labor has created the Connecticut Green Occupations website, which provides information about green energy jobs, pathways, education, salary range, health care, and retirement benefits.

Africa’s energy future

Rose M. Mutiso, the research director for the Energy for Growth Hub, lays out a compelling argument in this Ted Talk on why Africa’s energy — including even, temporarily, natural gas — needs to be allowed to grow while richer countries must curb their emissions. In other words, Africans need more resilient infrastructure and the ability to develop energy in order to fight climate change.

Forty-eight African countries combined are responsible for less than 1% of accumulated carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Mutiso was a senior fellow in the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy at the US Department of Energy (DOE), where she led DOE’s engagement on technology and policy dimensions of energy access in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Let us know what you think of Mutiso’s Ted Talk in the comments below.

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