How Green Is Your Lost Job?

Power: 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.

2 thoughts on “How Green Is Your Lost Job?

  1. Every country should be interested in job net gain, not just one industries speculation of gain. We already know the cost per green job created is far above what that job is worth. In addition there is the lost income and lost economy from the jobs that will be lost. How many homes are not renovated or built because IWTs are potentially moving into or could move into an area?

  2. And I’d like to know how many people, apart from wind developers, and government wonks would count cleaning up bird and bat remains as a “green” job…

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