Each wind-industry job created in Spain required a subsidy of about $1.4 million. Overall, the average subsidy cost for each green job was about $800,000. And to create about 50,000 green jobs, Spain lost 110,000 jobs elsewhere.
The central finding of the study is that — treating the data optimistically — for every renewable-energy job the government finances, “Spain’s experience [. . .] reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 jobs created.” Despite expensive and extensive greenjob policies, a surprisingly low number of jobs were created. In green job was about $800,000 (571,138 euros). And to create about 50,000 green jobs, Spain lost 110,000 jobs elsewhere, principally in metallurgy, nonmetallic mining, food processing and beverage and tobacco jobs.
Each green megawatt brought on line destroyed 5.28 jobs elsewhere in the economy (8.99 by photovoltaics, 4.27 from wind energy, 5.05 by minihydro power.) The total higher energy cost — the amount renewable energy cost more than available, conventional market-price energy — between 2000 and 2008 was about $10 billion. Moreover, the report concludes, “These costs do not appear to be unique to Spain’s approach but instead are largely inherent in schemes to promote renewable energy sources.”
The high cost of green energy predictably drove energy-intensive Spanish companies and industries out of Spain to countries with cheaper carbon-based energy, while the cost to Spanish taxpayers of renewable-energy subsidies was “enormous [. . .] 4.35 percent of all value added taxes collected, 3.45 percent of household income tax or 5.6 percent of the corporate tax.”
There is much more in the report, which at less than 50 pages would make useful reading for our elected representatives. Those who are worried about global warming may, after studying this report, still want to subsidize renewable-energy production. But it will be hard for such people to honestly continue believing they are addressing global warming while creating millions of net new jobs.
Tony Blankley is the author of “American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century” and executive vice president for global affairs of the Edelman public relations firm in Washington.