Tuesday, June 29, 2010

La economía verde que vendió a Obama es una ruina

[T]oday the Spanish newspaper La Gaceta runs with a full-page article fessing up to the truth about Spain’s “green jobs” boondoggle, which happens to be the one naively cited by President Obama no less than eight times as his model for the United States. It is now out there as a bust, a costly disaster that has come undone in Spain to the point that even the Socialists admit it, with the media now in full pursuit. [...]

La Gaceta boldly exposes the failure of the Spanish renewable policy and how Obama has been following it. The headline screams: “Spain admits that the green economy as sold to Obama is a disaster.” [...]

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.

Read more here.

But I don’t think we should judge “green industry” too harshly. I think the healthy way to look at it, together with the rest of liberal “reforms” is like a modern version of Sistine Chapel.

More on the topic:
Liberalism with initiative
Green building in Portland, Oregon
I love these three comments to the last link (I think they describe all liberal reforms perfectly):
This is seriously stupid. Assuming the numbers are accurate (since government is involved I'll wager they are not), it'll only take 475 years for the energy savings to pay off the investment.
    I hope this is an absolutely tiny part of this $133m project. If not it's a complete waste of money.
    FTA: "As a taxpayer, I think it’s a horrible waste of money that no private developer would undertake," Mr. Vaughan said.

"One issue yet to be tackled by architects is irrigation. Rainwater from the roof is one suggestion, while water recycled from the building's plumbing is another."
        Umm... poop water flowing down the sides of the building? I really hope that's not what they mean.

Knowing Oregon, that "vegetation" is probably going to be weed that, when sold on the open market, should generate enough cash to address any cost concerns anyone may have.


The Real Shliach said...

Wait, what's your issue with the Sistine Chapel?

A Suede Ḥossid said...

No issue. I only mean that these projects are like building a chapel. It doesn’t really serve a useful purpose; it just sits there and looks beautiful for the glory of the state. The same is true about windmills, green buildings, etc.

Although, I must admit, that the chapel actually does serve a purpose as a place of prayer for people (and its beauty helps the state reaffirm its control over the subjects by increased success of brainwashing them with the state religion), and it’s more beautiful than the windmill generators.