Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hurrah For Green Jobs!

There's a crash coming.
The global clean energy industry is set for a major crash. The reason is simple. Clean energy is still much more expensive and less reliable than coal or gas, and in an era of heightened budget austerity the subsidies required to make clean energy artificially cheaper are becoming unsustainable...

As part of its effort to combat the economic recession, the federal government pumped nearly $80 billion in direct investment and tax credits into the clean energy sector, catalyzing an unprecedented industry expansion. Solar energy, for example, grew 67% in the United States in 2010. The U.S. wind energy industry also experienced unprecedented growth as a result of the generous Section 1603 clean energy stimulus program. The industry grew by 40% and added 10 GW of new turbines in 2009. Yet many of the federal subsidies that have driven such rapid growth are set to expire in the next few years, and clean energy remains unable to compete without them.
Let's use this information and recast a generic politicians' speech about green jobs.

Traditional version: "My goal is to create 2 million new jobs in green energy by the year 2020!" (Wild applause follows.)

New version: "My goal is to create 2 million new jobs in an industry that is more expensive, less reliable and utterly uncompetitive without massive subsidies from you, the taxpayer, by the year 2020!" (Confused mumbling and scattered applause follows.)


Jeff Burton said...

I have a confession. I availed myself of clean energy tax credits this year. Sad thing is, the doohickey I installed (geothermal) did not make economic sense without them.

K T Cat said...

Yes, but you can now express smug superiority over the lowbrow pigs who aren't as green as you!