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Author Topic: Spain's Green Jobs
flydye
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quote:
(The article below was published in La Gaceta on May 21, 2010.)

Spain admits that the green energy as sold to Obama is a disaster

The Spanish government leaks a report that admits the ominous economic consequences of betting in favor of renewable energies.

by Cristina Blas

The president of the United States, Barack Obama, doesn’t seem to have chosen the right model to copy for his “green economy,” Spain. After the government of José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero demonized a study of different experts about the fatal economic consequences of renewable energies, an internal document from the Spanish cabinet that it is even more negative has just been leaked.

To one of the authors of the first report, Gabriel Calzada, “the government has leaked it intentionally in order to turn the media against renewable energies and to be stronger in negotiations with businesses.”

Because even though Zapatero himself opposes abandoning his grand bet, some voices — such as the minister of Industry, Miguel Sebastián — are beginning to express their worry over the enormous debt that has been generated by the investment in so-called clean energies, which could even delay Spain’s exit from the economic crisis.

On eight occasions, the occupant of the White House referred to the Spanish model as an example to follow. The paradox is that it is a model that Obama himself wants Spain to abandon, as made clear in his call to Zapatero last week in which he asked him to change his strategy on the crisis.

The internal report of the Spanish administration admits that the price of electricity has gone up, as well as the debt, due to the extra costs of solar and wind energy. Even the government numbers indicate that each green job created costs more than 2.2 traditional jobs, as was shown in the report of the Juan de Mariana Institute. Besides that, the official document is almost a copy point by point of the one that led to Calzada being denounced [lit. "vetoed"] by the Spanish Embassy in an act in the U.S. Congress.

The presentation recognizes explicitly that “the increase of the electric bill is principally due to the cost of renewable energies.” In fact, the increase in the extra costs of this industry explains more than 120% of the variation in the bill and has prevented the reduction in the costs of conventional electricity production to be reflected on the bills of the citizens.

If the document indicates that the development of renewable energies has had a positive impact, especially in the reduction of emissions, it has also admitted that the evolution has been too fast, due to subsidies.

“Between 2004 and 2010, the quantity of subsidies has been multiplied by five,”,says the text of the Spanish Ministry. In 2009 alone they were doubled from the previous year to 5,045 million euros, the equivalent of the whole public investment in I+D+i ["Investigación + Desarrollo + Innovación tecnológica", or "research, development, and technological innovation"] in Spain.

The numbers in the long run are even scarier. The government itself says that the alternative energies sector will receive 126 billion euros in the next 25 years. Just an example: The owners of solar plants make 12 times more than what they pay for the energy coming from fossil fuel combustion. The majority are subsidies charged to the consumer.

The conclusion is that with the economy at the point of bankruptcy, it is not possible to keep injecting money in such a costly sector. And the government seems to realize this now.

But aside from all this, Obama’s green energy project might cost him votes. The republican Rand Paul, animated by the tea party movement, won the primary on Tuesday for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat owing to, among other things, being a fierce critic of the president’s agenda on climate change.

Obama has made the focus of his economic and environmental politics a change towards a “green economy,” which, to the judgment of some analysts, could be a risk for the recovery of the world’s biggest economy.


Of course, expensive electricity is seen as a feature, not a bug by some.
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JoshCrow
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Which creature do we want to consume us, an economic Charybdis or the enviro-misery of Scylla?

Cheer on one disaster or the other at your own discretion.

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flydye
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That is all well and good, but when Scylla is advertised and a 'big cute doggy' who poops cheap energy and pees middle class incomes for everyone...well, SOMEONE is being dishonest.
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JoshCrow
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Nothing will change until the misery reaches a fever pitch. There is insufficient political will to properly address either the economic or environmental problem.

Once it all goes to hell, then we'll see where people's morals REALLY are, and how quickly they will turn on each other. Resources are scarcer in than they appear in the mirror...

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The Drake
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Implementation is everything. I believe with technology that the right answer is a "push" strategy. Giving out subsidies for everyone to build out their houses with solar panels, for example, is a "pull" strategy. Giving business a tax break for efficient office space is a pull.

Funding original research through grants - push.

Making tax breaks available for producers (not resellers) of green tech - push.

Infrastructure (like the smart grid) - push.


From whitehouse (with my own up or down vote) on energy spending in the recovery act:

quote:
GOOD:
# $11 billion for a bigger, better, and smarter grid that will move renewable energy from the rural places it is produced to the cities where it is mostly used, as well as for 40 million smart meters to be deployed in American homes.

BAD:
# $5 billion for low-income home weatherization projects.

NEUTRAL (where is the break-even point?)
# $4.5 billion to green federal buildings and cut our energy bill, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

???
# $6.3 billion for state and local renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts.

GOOD:
# $600 million in green job training programs – $100 million to expand line worker training programs and $500 million for green workforce training.

GOOD:
# $2 billion in competitive grants to develop the next generation of batteries to store energy.

By comparison, Spain used a lot of feed-in tariffs. According to Wikipedia, "Under a feed-in tariff, an obligation is imposed on regional or national electric grid utilities to buy renewable electricity (electricity generated from renewable sources".

I can't find any evidence that Obama is pushing feed-in tariffs with a quick google search. Mostly, I've heard him speak about cap-and-trade which is quite different in mechanism.

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flydye
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Grants suck. There should be prizes. Let people find their own innovative ways to do it.
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G2
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quote:
After the government of José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero demonized a study of different experts about the fatal economic consequences of renewable energies, an internal document from the Spanish cabinet that it is even more negative has just been leaked.
This is the essence of the green movement in particular and liberalism in general. They damn well know they're pushing disastrous policies based on a hoax that will destroy their economies. They will still come out and blatantly lie about it and those they lie to will gleefully swallow the lies while demonizing those that refuse to engage in the deceit with them.

[ May 22, 2010, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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flydye
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That is a tad overwrought.

If Paul ("The battle to feed the population is over...and we lost") Ehrlich and Al Gore whip the population into a frenzy over the death of the planet, what is a politician to do?

Just because the so called 'fix' is economically disasterous (Ponderour Gorean tones 'You can't buy a new planet') doesn't mean that the economically illiterate portion of the population is going to believe it, or care about the cost (See Healthcare/Obama)

And who knows, maybe the guys hiding the decline are right.

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