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 Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

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.

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