A study of renewable energy in Scotland shows that for every job created in the alternative energy sector, almost four jobs are lost in the rest of the economy. We’ve seen this movie before.
Not only has the sun set on the British Empire, but the promise of wind apparently is deserting it as well. A new study called “Worth The Candle?” by the consulting firm Verso Economics confirms the experience of Spain and other countries: The creation of “green” jobs destroys other jobs through the diversion of resources and the denial of abundant sources of fossil fuel energy.
The economic candle in the U.K. is being blown out by wind power. The Verso study finds that after the annual diversion of some 330 million British pounds from the rest of the U.K. economy, the result has been the destruction of 3.7 jobs for every “green” job created.
The study concludes that the “policy to promote renewable energy in the U.K. has an opportunity cost of 10,000 direct jobs in 2009-10 and 1,200 jobs in Scotland.” So British taxpayers, as is the case here in the U.S., are being forced to subsidize a net loss of jobs in a struggling economy.
“There’s a big emphasis in Scotland on the economic opportunity of investing in renewable energy,” says study co-author and Verso research director Richard Walsh.“Whatever the environmental merits, we have shown that the case for green jobs just doesn’t stack up.”
Again, it’s been shown that wind energy can’t hold a candle to other more traditional and more reliable forms of energy.
“The Scottish renewable sector is very reliant on subsidies from the rest of the U.K.,” co-author Tom Miers adds. “Without the U.K.-wide framework, it would be very difficult to sustain the main policy tolls to promote this industry.”
As here, only continuous subsidies and redistribution of resources to an unproductive and uncompetitive source of energy keeps the alternative energy industry alive, politically and economically.
As the Telegraph’s James Delingpole reminds us in reporting the results of the British study, “wind and solar power have proved a disaster in Germany, Denmark and Spain (where Dr. Gabriel Calzada Alvarez calculated that for every ‘green job,’ the country had destroyed 2.2 jobs in the real economy).”
If these numbers were extrapolated to America, instead of a touted 3 million-job gain from alternative energy, we should expect the loss of at least 6.6 million jobs in other industries.
Calzada noted that these are direct job losses. “The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to high energy prices,” he said in an interview.
Under a target agreed to with the European Union, Britain is committed to generating nearly a third of its electricity from renewable sources, mainly through building thousands of wind turbines.
The Daily Mail’s Christopher Booker calls the push for alternative energy “the greatest scam of our age,” a statement we find hard to disagree with.
Booker reports that in Britain, “To keep our homes warm we were having to import vast amounts of power from nuclear reactors in France.” He notes that the total usable output from Britain’s 3,500 turbines is no more than a single conventional power plant, which is necessary as a backup when the wind doesn’t blow.
These wind turbines are so expensive, according to Booker, that Holland recently became the first country in Europe to abandon its EU renewable-energy target, saving billions of euros.
Despite the evidence in country after country, we intend to repeat their mistake.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, architects of the Obama administration’s economy-killing war on fossil fuels, announced on Monday that the development of offshore wind farms would be fast-tracked, with a goal of issuing leases off four Atlantic Coast states by the end of the year.
Tilting at windmills will not create jobs, make us energy-independent or save the earth.