Is renewable energy technology destroying jobs?
A study examining green energy in Spain could have implications for the “green economy” in the United States.
The study says that every renewable energy job created by Spanish government subsidies “destroyed” an average of 2.2 other jobs. Each green megawatt – energy from solar or wind power – also destroyed 5.39 jobs in non-energy sectors.
Study authors Gabriel Calzada Alverez said that only one in 10 jobs in Spain were permanent – two thirds were construction, fabrication and installation jobs, one quarter were positions in administration, marketing and engineering and only one in 10 were related to more permanent maintenance and operations.
In fact, study authors predict that the U.S. could lose 6.6 million to 11 million jobs if it creates 3 million largely temporary “green jobs.”
But Eric Cefus, executive director of the Catamount Institute and creator of the Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network, believes the numbers are wrong.
“They’re pulling those figures out of their you-know-what’s,” he said. “In fact, we know that every megawatt of green energy creates an additional $2 million in economic output. That’s jobs, money saved in conservation efforts, in being more efficient.”
Cefus said that putting off the move to green energy is not possible – more jobs will be lost in the long run.
“If we don’t do this, the numbers are going to be much higher,” he said. “As fossil fuels become more and more difficult to find, and more and more expensive – the cost of doing business is going to go up, not down.”
Read more about this in Friday’s Business Journal