The Green Gillard Government, when bludgeoning through it's "Clean, Green Energy" Carbon dioxide tax promised jobs and more jobs. As has been pointed out before, the Spanish study showed that for every two "green" energy jobs created, five normal jobs were lost.
Now Terence Corcoran in the Financial Times writes
The parallel-energy universe known as renewables, a place where dollars and economic theory know no bounds and make no sense, looks increasingly like a bubble set to collapse. Or, as I wrote here back in March of 2010: “That eerie hissing you hear may well be the air beginning to seep out of the green energy bubble. The sound is similar to the pfffffft and sshhhhsssssp noises we heard in the early days of the dot-com bubble collapse or the subprime mortgage meltdown.”
The loss of political backing, massive overexpansion under the subsidy push, plus the realization that renewable energy comes with bazillion-dollar costs to consumers and/or taxpayers, all spell trouble for solar, wind, biofuels and other green-energy sources.
Also at risk of taking a hit, internationally and in Canada, are some of the venture capitalists and financial heavyweights who have been riding the global climate-change scare for every dollar of subsidy they can get out of it. News reports note that Solon, which has been slashing costs and staff for months, faced a bank deadline and now needs creditor protection on a $375-million loan from Deutsche Bank AG, the global banking giant. Deutsche Bank in recent years promoted green energy as a hot product, launching an international campaign warning of pending climate catastrophe if governments didn’t provide feed-in tariffs and other subsidies and guarantees to renewable-energy firms, to which Deutsche Bank would lend money.
The German Green Energy meltdown follows the crash of Solyndra in the United States and the accompanying political scandal re the funding of that solar-energy company. Even so, as late as Wednesday the renewable-energy lobbyists were pressing for extensions of subsidies.
The subsidized industries are making the usual arguments that their operations create jobs and provide clean energy. The slow wind-down of Kyoto and the long outlook for Durban climate policy adds to the sense that being green is no longer easy.
The economic case for these jobs is undermined by numerous reports and studies that show the cost of the tax breaks and subsidies destroys at least as many jobs as are gained.
Let's all pray that our Green Gillard Governemtn has a re-think before the introduction of the killer carbon tax next July.