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Demand for hydropower employees internationally is sparked by local and federal governmental interest in building and maintaining hydroelectric power facilities and finding qualified candidates to replace outgoing members of the workforce in the U.S. is a growing concern.
Internationally, the need for hydropower and qualified professionals to work in this industry is reflected in the “2017 Hydropower Status Report,” by the International Hydropower Association.
In 2014, Alan Hardcastle, PhD, a senior research associate and Sally Zeiger Hanson, workforce research associate with the Washington State University Energy Program, released results of a study on the electric power workforce in the Pacific Northwest, United States.
The study indicated, “By 2018, about 17% of the current electric power workforce in the Pacific Northwest is expected to retire, and it is becoming more challenging to fill open positions.”
The report, which surveyed 16 regional electric power employers, revealed that more than 60% of the 27,859 employees accounted for in the study are older than 45, and that of those, 17% are expected to retire by 2018.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) in 2011 said the U.S. hydropower industry provides about 7% of U.S. electricity and employs 200,000 to 300,000 people in project development and deployment, manufacturing, operations and maintenance.
A study commissioned by the National Hydropower Association in 2009 reported, if ideal circumstances are present, as many as 700,000 new jobs could be created in the U.S. by 2025 through the construction of new hydropower capacity.
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