One “justification” put up by the wind industry and its parasites for the social and economic chaos caused by spiralling power costs, community division and outrage – is the laboured-claim that investment in wind power would create a “new” economy, with millions of groovy “green” jobs for all.
No better case study to debunk that myth than Germany, which went into wind power harder and faster than anyone else: the cost of doing so is catching up with a vengeance. The subsidies have been colossal, the impacts on the electricity market chaotic and – contrary to the purpose of the policy – CO2 emissions are rising fast (see our post here).
True it was that Germany saw an increase in renewables related employment – the bulk of it in the development and manufacture of solar panels – but all of it was built on a raft of taxpayer and power consumer subsidies: it was – therefore – economically unsustainable.
Any job that relies on a subsidy results in a loss of employment elsewhere in the economy. In Germany, the subsidies for “green” jobs are paid for in rocketing power prices, which impacts on the profitability and competitiveness of all businesses and industries. German manufacturers – and other energy intensive industries – faced with escalating power bills are set to pack up and head to the USA – where power prices are 1/3 of Germany’s (see our posts here and here and here).
In the result, Germany faces a decline in industrial output and, therefore, declining employment.
And now that the Germans have started to wind back subsidies for renewables (see our post here), the “green” jobs that were built on them are disappearing fast:
The renewables subsidy story in Spain is no different. The Spaniards have thrown 100s of billions of euros in subsidies at solar and wind power, and have achieved nothing but economic punishment in return. The much touted promise of thousands of so-called “green” jobs never materialized. No surprises there. Instead, the insane cost of subsidising wind and solar power ended up killing productive industries; the general unemployment rate rocketed from 8% to 26% – youth unemployment ended up nearer to 50% in many regions (see our post here). For more on the Spanish renewables disaster see the study produced by the Institute for Energy Research available here.
In Spain, just as here, the great bulk of employment in the wind industry involves fleeting construction work (once the turbines are up, there’s nought to do) – of the jobs created:
“two-thirds of which came in construction, fabrication and installation, one quarter in administrative positions, marketing and projects engineering, and just one out of ten jobs has been created at the more permanent level of actual operation and maintenance”.
That the Spaniards had to stump up “subsidies of more than €1 million” to create each wind industry job; that each wind industry job thus created, killed off 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy; and that each MW of wind power capacity installed destroyed 4.27 jobs – is nothing short of an economic disaster (see our post here).
The same grab bag of falsehoods were laid upon the Scots, with the same dole-queue-filling outcome:
In Australia, one of the last-ditch “pitches” being made by the wind industry and its parasites is that continuing ‘uncertainty’ surrounding the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) will costs tens of thousands of jobs.
Never mind that the wind industry has generated only a handful of permanent jobs in Australia; that the bulk of the jobs created were in fleeting construction work; and that new wind farm construction has more or less ground to a halt: “investment” in the construction of wind farms went from $2.69 billion in 2013 to a trickle last year (see this article).
The handful of permanent jobs (as well as fleeting construction work) created in Australia’s wind industry were all the product of the mandatory LRET and the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) issued to wind power generators under it. The REC is a Federal Tax on all Australian power consumers paid as a direct subsidy to wind power outfits.
So far, the REC Tax has cost Australian power consumers around $9 billion and – if the LRET remains – will add a further $45 billion to power bills over the next 17 years – in the form of the REC Tax/Subsidy alone (see our post here).
It’s the cost impact on power prices of that massive subsidy stream that had energy intensive industries – like aluminium processing and mining – lining up to see that the mandatory LRET gets the chop (see our posts here and here). If the LRET endures for much longer, expect to see more industrial outfits close their doors, killing off real jobs in the thousands (see our posts here and here).
When the “wind industry creates jobs” mantra is being chanted, what the Clean Energy Council and Infigen & Co don’t say is that every single wind industry job “created” depends entirely on the mandatory RET and the RECs issued to wind power outfits under it.
A subsidy – such as the REC – paid to “create” a job in one part of an economy, means that a job (or jobs) will, inevitably, be lost elsewhere. A study by UK Versa Economics found that for every job created in the wind industry 3.7 jobs are lost elsewhere in the UK economy (see our post here).
One Australian study has forecast that the current mandatory RET will kill over 6,000 jobs (see our post here).
The idea of wind industry job “creation” is like robbing Peter to pay Paul, except that the thief has to filch $4 from Peter to end up handing $1 to Paul.
As the Germans, Spaniards and Brits are learning fast, any policy that is unsustainable will, eventually, fail or compel its creators to scrap it. The mandatory LRET is no exception.
Next time you hear the spin masters from the CEC, Pac Hydro, Infigen & Co railing about uncertainty surrounding future changes to the LRET, resulting in massive job losses, they’re not talking about real Australian jobs in industry, mining, mineral processing and manufacturing – it’s their own REC subsidy fuelled jobs that they’re worried about (see our posts here and here).
The same hollow claims about wind power ‘investment’ (read “capital diverted by government edict from power consumers as a wealth transfer by stealth”) leading to an employment El Dorado wherever these things are speared, were made in Ontario and California – with precisely the same pitiful (and predictable) results.
Green job boasts fail to deliver
18 August 2015
Politicians like Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and California Gov. Jerry Brown boast that their public investments in green energy are creating new jobs.
Problem is those claims are largely nonsense.
In 2009, the Ontario Liberals, then led by Dalton McGuinty, introduced the Green Energy Act, boasting it would create more than 50,000 new jobs, 40,000 directly related to renewable energy, within three years.
In December, 2011, then auditor general Jim McCarter found 30,000 of the promised 50,000-plus jobs were expected to be in construction, lasting no more than three years.
McCarter also warned: “(S)tudies in other jurisdictions have shown that for each job created through renewable energy programs, about two to four jobs are often lost in other sectors of the economy because of higher electricity prices.”
A similar green job creation scheme has now gone bust in California.
As The Associated Press reported Monday: “Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.”
California’s 2012 Clean Energy Jobs Act closed a tax loophole for multi-state corporations, with half the proceeds earmarked for green energy projects in the state’s school system, supposedly to create more than 11,000 new jobs each year.
But three years in, only 1,700 jobs have been created in total and more than half of the $297 million the new tax generated ($153 million) has gone to consultants and energy auditors, not to actual projects.
The oversight board created to monitor and report on the program has never met.
The Los Angeles school board was projected to save $27 million a year annually on energy costs. So far it’s proposed projects to save $1.4 million.
Under Wynne, Ontario is about to enter into a cap-and-trade carbon pricing scheme with California and Quebec, increasing the costs of most goods and services to consumers, which officials say could bring up to $2 billion annually more into provincial coffers when fully operational.
What could possibly go wrong?