Green-collar job bubble bursts in Spain

In an article entitled, “The reality of wind power and green-collar jobs in Spain,” the Scientific Alliance observes that although Spain’s renewable energy effort created 50,000 jobs,

… these are nearly all for installing new capacity and so do not provide long term employment. And they come at a cost: a renewables subsidy of 2.6bn euros in 2007 [about $72,000 per job based on 2007 exchange rates], with about one third of the total going to the solar sector, which represents only 0.7% of installed capacity and about half the total number of jobs [as the wind sector].

The costs are such that the government has now had to reduce the subsidy for solar power by 30% and cap the amount of new capacity to be installed. This softening of support resulted in 10,000 job losses. Further reductions of subsidies put 40,000 more green jobs at risk. Energy prices are rising to cover losses in the distribution industry, and generators have announced the cancellation of 4.5bn euros of annual investment because they also pay an effective subsidy for renewable energy through the controlled price to the consumer…

The lesson: Green jobs = higher taxes + higher electric bills + some temporary employment.

Van Jones, are you listening?

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