Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ron Bailey over at Reason links up a pair of studies that shows that Green Jobs initiatives in Europe are incredibly expensive:
The study calculates that since 2000 Spain spent €571,138 to create each “green job”, including subsidies of more than €1 million per wind industry job...

Each “green” megawatt installed destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy: 8.99 by photovoltaics, 4.27 by wind energy, 5.05 by mini-hydro.

These costs do not appear to be unique to Spain’s approach but instead are largely inherent in schemes to promote renewable energy sources.

In the end, Germany’s [photovoltaic] promotion has become a subsidization regime that, on a per-worker basis, has reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as 175,000 € (US $ 240,000).

Sure, you ask, but they're saving the environment, right?
Advocates say feed-in tariffs cut greenhouse gas emissions. But they’re an absurdly expensive way to do this. According to RWI, the German feed-in tariffs for solar energy reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a cost of more than $1,000 per ton. (The wind power subsidy was better, coming to only $80 per ton.) In late 2009, an emissions permit for a ton of carbon could be had for less than $20 on the European climate exchange. “Hence, the cost from emission reductions as determined by the market is about 53 times cheaper than employing [photovoltaics] and 4 times cheaper than using wind power,” the report notes.

To be honest, that may overestimate it a bit. Measuring cost of carbon reductions by quoting the European cliamte exchange is a little suspect considering the high rate of fraud:
The European Union (EU) Emission Trading System (ETS) has been the victim of fraudulent traders in the past 18 months. This resulted in losses of approximately 5 billion euros for several national tax revenues. It is estimated that in some countries, up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.
Copyright © Swing Right Rudie
A notebook to myself