18 June 2010

Spain closes part of the eco-trough

'Sunny Spain suspends solar subsidy scam', says the headline of an article in The Register. See that in the mainstream media? No? I thought not.

In the UK, for 'solar', read 'wind', to which our own supposedly cost-cutting government is 100% committed.
Estimates put the investment in solar energy in Spain at €18bn - but the investment was predicated, as it is with all flakey renewables, on taxpayer subsidies. With the country's finances in ruins, making sacrifices for the Earth Goddess Gaia is an option Spain can no longer afford. Incredibly, Spain pays more in subsidies for renewables than the total cost of energy production for the country. It leaves industry with bills 17 per cent higher than the EU average.
For sure, you can create a temporary jobs boom, but these are artificial, and the exercise is as useful as paying people to dig a hole in the ground, then fill it in. Spanish economist Professor Gabriel Calzada, at the University of Madrid estimated that each green job had cost the country $774,000. Worse, a "green" job costs 2.2 jobs that might otherwise have been created - a figure Calzada derived by dividing the average subsidy per worker by the average productivity per worker. Industry, which can't afford to pay the higher fuel bills, simply moves elsewhere.
You can download Calzada's paper here (pdf).

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