Skip to Content
Uncategorized

New Natural Gas Power Plants Are Automating Out Jobs

August 4, 2017

Coal power is falling from favor, and, until renewables can fill the gap, natural gas is taking up a lot of the slack. But more than just mining jobs are being lost as the shift occurs: IEEE Spectrum reports that new natural gas power plants are so heavily automated that the number of workers required to turn fossil fuels into electricity is also falling. You want numbers? Sure: as an example from IEEE Spectrum, DTE Energy has announced that it’s going to replace three coal-powered plants in Michigan with a single natural gas facility. The former employed a total of 500 people, but the new plant will require just 35. That, it appears, is what happens when you load industrial facilities with sensors and remote control systems. It is, of course, a familiar narrative that’s playing out everywhere—from factory floors to fast food outlets—but it’s interesting to hear how something as industrial as energy production is feeling the bite, too.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.