Green jobs are the new cash for clunkers

We simply have to produce green jobs at any cost. Or at least it appears that way, judging by amount of government money earmarked for “green” jobs. Let’s take a quick look at some of the results in other countries that have implemented green-oriented policies.

First stop, Spain

  • The government’s green job push created approximately 50,000 jobs, but resulted in a loss of more than 110,000 jobs in other industries.
  • Only 1 in 10 of the new green jobs was permanent
  • Each green job created since 2000 has required about $774,000 in government subsidies.

Next up, Denmark

  • The Danish government spent $90,000 to $140,000 to create each wind job.
  • About 28,400 people were employed in the Danish wind industry, but only about 1 in 10 were new jobs — the remaining 90 percent were simply positions shifted from one industry to another.
  • From 1999 to 2006, the average government-subsidized clean energy technology worker added $10,000 less to the Danish economy than did the average employee in other industrial and manufacturing sectors
  • As a result, Danish gross domestic product was about $270 million less than it would have been if the wind industry work force were employed in other sectors.

Last stop, Germany

  • Germany instituted a feed-in tariff— which requires regional or national electric grid utilities to buy renewable electricity — and as a result, wind energy costs three times as much as conventional energy and solar power costs eight times as much.
  • The total net cost of subsidies for wind and solar power production since 2000 has topped $101 billion, producing less than 7 percent of the electric power generated nationwide.
  • The government spent an average of $240,000 in subsidies per each new green job.

This story is based on a report from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Energy Probe is a keen supporter of renewable energy. We believe renewable energy has the ability to diversify our electricity supply, while allowing for more decentralized sources of power for consumers. But we’re not in favour of throwing massive subsides at forms of energy that are not technically or economically feasible.

Read the previous gangrene economy report, "Short Circuiting The Green Credentials Of The Electric Car" here.

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