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Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources

by Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, Raquel Merino Jara, Juan Ramón Rallo Julián, and José Ignacio García Bielsa

In this paper, the authors examine Spain’s efforts to create “green jobs” through subsidies for renewable energy. They find that these subsidies have harmed Spain’s economy, destroying 2.2 jobs for every 1 job created. This study demonstrates how “green jobs” policy clearly hinders Spain’s way out of the current economic crisis, even while U.S. politicians insist that rushing into such a scheme will ease their own emergence from the turmoil. The paper marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact of “green job” policies have been made.

The following represent some of the study’s key findings:

  • The U.S. can expect 2.2 jobs to be destroyed for every 1 renewable job financed by the government.
  • Only 1 in 10 of the jobs actually created through green investment is permanent.
  • Since 2000, Spain has spent €571,138 ($753,778) to create each “green job,” including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1,319,783) per wind industry job.
  • Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 113,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
  • Each “green” megawatt installed destroyed 5.39 jobs in non-energy sectors of the Spanish economy.
  • The total over-cost—the amount paid over the cost that would result from buying the electricity generated by the renewable power plants at market prices—between 2000 and 2008 amounts to 7,918.54 million Euros ($10 billion).
  • The total subsidy spent and committed to these three renewable sources amounts to €28,671 million ($36 billion).
  • Consumer energy costs in Spain would have to be increased 31 percent to repay the debt generated by the green jobs subsidies.

Adding insult to injury, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Spain’s annual emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by nearly 50 percent since the nation began its aggressive push to subsidize and support “green jobs.”

Green Jobs Myths

by Andrew P. Morriss, William T. Bogart, Andrew Dorchak, and Roger Meiners

This paper examines the promises that a massive program of government mandates, subsidies, and forced technological interventions will reward the nation with an economy brimming with “green jobs.” These scholars survey the green jobs literature, analyze its assumptions, and show how the
special interest groups promoting the idea of green jobs have embedded dubious assumptions and techniques within their analyses.

The authors explain that before undertaking efforts to restructure and possibly impoverish our society, careful analysis and informed public debate about these assumptions and prescriptions are necessary.

Green Jobs: Fact or Fiction?

by Robert Michaels and Robert Murphy

This paper analyzes four other studies that promote the economic benefits of green jobs. Robert Michaels and Robert Murphy assess the economic integrity and net benefits claimed by these studies, and identified these general problems in their analysis:

  • Mistaking a labor-intensive energy sector as the goal, rather than efficient energy provision.
  • Counting job creation but ignoring job destruction.
  • Double counting of jobs and overly simplistic treatment of the labor market.
  • Ignoring the role of the private sector.
  • How much government support of “green” markets is enough?
  • Government picking winners and losers.
  • Assuming that potential benefits from new technologies will only occur through government programs.

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  1. Jeri Turley-Pennybaker says:

    I think Al Gore needs to invest in some really speedy running shoes! I keep wondering if he can be prosecuted for perpetrating a fraud upon the American people. He’s a liar. I’m sick about the damage he has done to how Americans are viewed in the world.

    I favor former Governor Palin’s energy ideas. Clean coal, natural gas and start drilling for oil of our own. And certainly the United States of America owes NO ONE money for the agreements drawn up in Copenhagen. I did not agree to this use of tax dollars. Who did Obama think he was up there promising away our dollars for unsubstantiated carbon footprints. Here’s a footprint up your behind sir.

  2. Audri DeBsrr says:

    Drill Baby Drill.

  3. jr says:

    Grief – we are being scared over every little
    thing from Tsunami, schools lock down, climate, ’severe’ weather every time it rains
    This is manipulation city. Yet we hear little
    about the real problems- like why health costs go up and up but nobody explains what the causes are. Or why the Credit Default Swap market increased by 500 times in 10 years.
    Also, for intermittent energy – it might make
    more sense to bring the work to where the
    windmills are than trying to connect them to
    the grid, and ditto for solar.

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