As Europe is waking up to its failed experiment of “green energy jobs,” President Barack Obama is throwing America deeper into the red as he doubles down on the concept.
The president threw away some $7 billion in taxpayer funds with “investments” in 34 green energy companies and programs. These programs either have failed or are well on their way to failure, as the Heritage Foundation reported in October.
And yet, the president continues to stubbornly embrace the idea of government “investments” in green technology.
“Tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good,” he said at his State of the Union address.
European countries began investing in green energy programs long before America even considered it, and their experiment was a total failure.
Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, an associate professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, teaches applied economics at the Environmental Science Faculty. Alvarez testified before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on Sept. 24, 2009, saying:
• For every green job financed by Spanish taxpayers, 2.2 jobs were lost as an opportunity cost.
• Only one out of 10 green job contracts were in maintenance and operation of already installed plants, and most of the rest of the working positions are only sustainable in an expansive environment related to high subsidies.
• Since 2000, Spain has committed €571,138 ($753,778) per “green job.”
• Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs.
Each “green” megawatt installed on average destroyed 5.39 jobs elsewhere in the economy, and in the case of solar photovoltaics, the number reached 8.99 jobs per megawatt hour installed.
Europe is now reassessing its programs, and ZeroHedge.com’s Tyler Durden wrote Thursday that Germany and Spain are getting set to pull the plug on green energy production.
The American Enterprise Institute published a study Friday that concluded:
Both economic theory and the experience of European countries that have attempted to build a green-energy economy that will create green jobs reveal that such thinking is deeply fallacious. Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the Netherlands have all tried and failed to accomplish positive outcomes with renewable energy. Some will suggest that the United States is different, and that US planners will have the wisdom to make the green economy work here. But there is no getting around the fact that you do not improve your economy or create jobs by breaking windows, and US planners are no more omniscient than those in Europe.
The idea of a clean, renewable and cost-effective energy source is unquestionably attractive. It doesn’t yet exist, nor will it ever exist on the basis of the president wishing it so.
That advancement will come about as all others have — through private enterprise’s use of the profit motive to build a better mousetrap.
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