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Jobs Go Overseas, Claims that governments can create jobs by forcing or inducing people to purchase expensive renewable electricity are a myth

Renewable Electricity Mandates Raise Prices and Kill Jobs


By —— Bio and Archives--May 10, 2011

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Renewable electricity mandates are causing electricity prices to rise and killing jobs in the states that have enacted them. “Electricity prices are already nearly 40 percent higher in states with an REM (renewable electricity mandate). While the renewable mandates may not be the only reason electricity prices are higher in those states, these mandates likely contribute to higher prices and certainly are not helping to decrease the price,” reports a recent study from the Institute for Energy Research. (1)

Renewable electricity mandates are causing electricity prices to rise and killing jobs in the states that have enacted them. “Electricity prices are already nearly 40 percent higher in states with an REM (renewable electricity mandate). While the renewable mandates may not be the only reason electricity prices are higher in those states, these mandates likely contribute to higher prices and certainly are not helping to decrease the price,” reports a recent study from the Institute for Energy Research. (1)

The study notes 29 states have enacted renewable electricity mandates and another seven have enacted renewable energy goals. The majority of states have proven unable to meet their mandates, and even the unmet mandates have raised electricity prices.

In April Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring California utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2020. Brown was particularly proud of this step. “Today we have a real success story,” he told a large crowd in a factory owned by one of the firms that makes solar panels and will reap benefits from the new legislation. “It’s about California leading the country and the country leading the world.” (2)

Never mind that California already requires its large, investor-owned utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from the sun, the wind, and other renewable sources, a goal they have not met (2009 estimated qualified renewables were 13%). (1)

SunPower, the solar firm that will reap the benefits also scored a significant win on April 12 when the US Department of Energy conditionally committed $1.2 billion in loan guarantees for a solar power plant that the company plans to build in San Luis Obispo County, reports David Baker. (2)

That’s not all. Just a day earlier, Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s department finalized terms for $1.6 billion in loan guarantees for another solar power plant in California.

“The loan program is a necessary part of making sure we not only invent things here in America, we build things in America,” Chu said after the ceremony. (2)

A major argument people use to promote renewable electricity mandates is that the mandates can create green jobs. But trying to create jobs through renewable subsidies has proved to be a failure. In Spain, for example, it is estimated that 2.2 jobs were lost as an opportunity for creating one job in the renewable sector. In Germany, per worker subsidies in the solar industry are as high as $240,000. The situation in Denmark is similar. Danes have to pay the highest electricity prices in the European Union, and they pay subsidies of nearly $400 million a year to wind producers (in a country with less than 2 percent of the population of the United States). (1)

Britain’s biggest wind-energy projects are in trouble. Just as the UK government announced its goal of creating 400,000 eco-jobs, major green energy employer Vestas UK ended production. All 7,000 turbines that Downing Street committed to installing over the next decade will be manufactured—not in Britain, but in Germany, Denmark and China. (3)

Poland estimated that the EU’s climate policy would cost 800,000 European jobs. The think-tank Open Europe has estimated that the same policies would cost the UK $9 billion a year, leaving an extra 1 million people in fuel poverty by 2020. (4)

Jobs Go Overseas

Of the more than $2 billion the federal government has given to boost the economy and create green energy jobs, more than three-quarters has gone to foreign-owned companies that dominate the global wind industry. (5) A depressing study from the UC-Berkeley in 2010 reported that only 1% of Californians are employed in the green industry despite one absurd voter-supported referendum after another. (6)

“Less that a quarter of wind turbine components installed in the US came from domestic production. Just 15 percent of the 2,800 new jobs from wind turbine development will take the form of US jobs reports Jeremy Hsu. (7)

Geoffrey Lean adds, “In just two years, China’s production of solar panels soared tenfold, making it the world’s largest manufacturer, and this is expected to multiply 10 times over again by 2015 as it exports then.” (8)

Green jobs are created all right, but most of them overseas.

Don’t tell any of this to California, they are set on leading the world while the state goes further in debt.

Claims that governments can create jobs by forcing or inducing people to purchase expensive renewable electricity are a myth. (1)

References

  1. “The Status of Renewable Electricity Mandates in the States.” Institute of Energy Research
  2. David R. Baker, “Renewables required,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 2011, Page D1
  3. Robert L. Bradley, Jr., “Real energy, Real jobs,” Hawaii Reporter, March 25, 2011
  4. Paul Driessen, “Wind energy and green jobs are not all sustainable,” Liberty Institute, July 24, 2009
  5. Michael Economides and Peter Glover, “Green Jobs: Fast-tracking Economic Suicide,” American Thinker, August 4, 2009
  6. Brooke Williams and Kevin Crowe, “Green energy grants are a boon for foreign companies,”  March 4, 2010
  7. Claude Sandroff, “California’s Renewable Economic Suicide,” American Thinker, April 16, 2001
  8. Jeremy Hsu, “Huge Texas Wind Farm’s Turbines Will Be Made in China,” popsi.com/technology, October 30, 2009
  9. Geoffrey Lean, “Green revolution left blowing in the wind,” The Telegraph, July 215, 2009

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Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.


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