Friday, 26 June 2009

Alternative energy schemes costing Spanish taxes, jobs

So much for the  so called “Green New Deal” – it’s as flawed as the first New Deal.  So much for so called renewable energy: -- as I’ve said before, its defining characteristic is that it is “energy produced by means that would be uneconomic without such tax breaks and subsidies.”

Latest evidence for the prosecution: Spanish taxpayers’ forced “investment” in ‘renewable energy' has destroyed more jobs than it created, while subsidising them at absurdly high costs.  Read ‘Spain Tilts At Windmills And Pays Price.’  Here’s an excerpt [hat tip Jeff Perren]:

    Spanish professor [Gabriel Calzada] is puzzled. Why,  wonders [the economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos], is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating "green jobs" in "alternative energy" even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1% — more than double the European Union average — partly because of spending on such jobs. . .
    Calzada says Spain's torrential spending — no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources — on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs.
    But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies. Wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation . . .  Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain's economy.

Sounds so insane it’s no wonder local Greens like the idea.  Featherbedding for featherheads.  As Tom Woods says, throwing the Broken Window Fallacy at the whole Green New Deal crap:

I won't ask if they think [people] are this stupid, since they obviously do. Leaving aside the question of whether carbon needs to be capped, since that has nothing to do with whether doing so "creates jobs" on net, is there a non-drone, non-bought-and-paid-for human being on this earth who thinks throwing obstacles in the path of production "creates jobs" in a non-trivial sense? Couldn't I, with equal justification, say that forcing every business to destroy its roof and then build a new one out of clay, or chopping off every third worker's right hand, would create an analogous series of jobs?

Moral of the story?  There are at least two.  First, the problem with job creation at this time and any time is not about creating jobs at any cost but, as George Reisman tells Paul Krugman, it’s about creating productive jobs at prices employers can afford.

And second, there’s only two kinds of energy production: energy that costs more to produce than it delivers, and energy that doesn’t. Guess which kind “renewable energy” is.

NB: You can download Calzada’s report here: Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources.

1 comment:

  1. Chuckey Chauvel is Labour's spokesman on climate change.

    He's full of the usual bull on the issue.

    You can confront him directly at Labour's new blog, Red Alert.

    Expose him to the ideas and arguments he won't hear from the Benedict Arnolds in National.



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