Tilting at Windmills, 21st Century Style

From our friends at the Institute for Energy Research. (This story ran on Fox News this morning, but crammed into a two-minute time slot with few details.)

It seems that Spain’s foray into wind energy has been President Obama’s example that we should follow on this side of the pond. “But wait-a-hold-it, how’s it working for Spain?”, you might ask (if you were a right-wing reactionary, Global Warming denier, or recently discharged veteran). Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Juan Carlos University in Madrid has studied the effort, with the following results:

The following represent some of the study’s key findings:

  • The U.S. can expect 2.2 jobs to be destroyed for every 1 renewable job financed by the government.
  • Only 1 in 10 of the jobs actually created through green investment is permanent.
  • Since 2000, Spain has spent €571,138 ($753,778) to create each “green job,” including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1,319,783) per wind industry job.
  • Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 113,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
  • Each “green” megawatt installed destroyed 5.39 jobs in non-energy sectors of the Spanish economy.
  • The total over-cost—the amount paid over the cost that would result from buying the electricity generated by the renewable power plants at market prices—between 2000 and 2008 amounts to 7,918.54 million Euros ($10 billion).
  • The total subsidy spent and committed to these three renewable sources amounts to €28,671 million ($36 billion).
  • Consumer energy costs in Spain would have to be increased 31 percent to repay the debt generated by the green jobs subsidies.

NOTE: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Spain’s annual emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by nearly 50 percent since the nation began its aggressive push to subsidize and support “green jobs.”

Meh. Not so good. Maybe we should throw even more money at it!

Institute for Energy Research (IER) president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement subsequent to the report’s release:

“President Obama has cited Spain as an example to be followed for how our country can achieve long-term growth if we just commit ourselves down a path of a massive, long-term subsidization of ‘green jobs.’ But if that’s really the model on which the president’s basing U.S. policy, we may be in for a longer, deeper and more severe recession than previously thought.

“As this study makes clear, Spain has spent billions in taxpayer resources to subsidize renewable energy programs in an effort to jumpstart its ailing economy – and what they’ve gotten in return are fewer jobs, skyrocketing debt and some of the highest and most regressive energy prices in the developed world. Now, as U.S. policy-makers prepare to embark Americans upon a similar course, this report offers our first realistic glimpse into what we should expect in return for that unprecedented sacrifice of public resources and personal autonomy. …”

H/T Kari at CRC Public Relations