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November 23, 2010

The Problem with Spain's Green Jobs Model

November 23, 2010
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On at least eight occasions, President Obama has stated we should follow Spain’s example, massively subsidizing wind, solar, and other expensive types of electricity production. But if that’s really the model on which the president is basing U.S. policy, we may be in for a longer, deeper and more severe recession than previously thought.

Because the president emphasized Spain, we thought it was important to take a closer look at the Spanish experience. We commissioned a study on Spain and the results were astounding. What was meant to be a green energy revolution in Spain turned out to be an economic disaster. The video below explains why.


The Obama Administration is trying to implement the same types of programs that have failed in Spain. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today visited Baltimore, Maryland, to announce a new, streamlined process for issuing offshore wind permits. The announcement comes fresh off the heels of a visit to Louisiana, where he discussed, but did nothing to change, the Obama Administration’s stalled permitting process for offshore oil and gas production.

As the video and study show, Spain’s green jobs model doesn’t work. So why is the Obama Administration trying to emulate it?


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17 Responses to “The Problem with Spain's Green Jobs Model”

  1. jabberjaw1 on

    Thank You for exposing the truth about Spain’s energy debacle. Another Administration FAILURE to tell the truth and also to help Louisiana move forward to creating lost jobs in the economy that the Administration are making worse.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous on

    They still need to figure out that wind power is only about 20 percent efficient and has a tremendous carbon footprint. to manufacture. As well the power is twice as expensive as nuclear and fossill fuel plants.
    Germany has some where around 18000 wind turbines which provide 12 to 14 percent of their power requirments. None of these wind turbines are in the mountains of Bavaria. Most of the farms and industries in Bavaria have their roofs covered with Solar Cells. Also the wind turbines are highly subsidized by the German Government.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous on

    Obama plans to convert this nation to green energy at the expense of the economy. He will blame the poor economy on market failure, as FDR did during the New Deal.

    Reply
  4. Kenneth on

    The main problem with this our president and and most of his cronies is their love affair with half baked theories that have already been tried elsewhere and have failed. A costly combination (to us not them) of arrogance and ignorance in that they believe that they will be the ones to make them a success.

    Reply
  5. Kenneth on

    The main pfroblem with our president and his administration is their affinity with only half baked theories that have been tried by others and have failed. Totally ignoring history…refusing to be taught but the lessons of the past.

    Reply
  6. Donald on

    “Tilting the Windmills”

    Long ago, a famous Spanish dreamer and idealist… the Knight de Le Mancha, Don Quiote had a similar conflict with giant windmills in open field. He with his lance at full tilt mistakenly charged rows of windmills in vain. Hence, the metaphoric phrase Tilting the Windmills… often used to describe confrontations or courses of action based on misapplied idealistic justifications.
    Don’t they all know, new drilling techniques recently opened oil and natural gas resources for many more years in U.S.A.. Rumor has that the Secretary of the Interior’s Office was over heard saying…”Damn, what are we going to do about the low cost of natural gas?”

    Reply
  7. Anonymous on

    I fully appreciate and agree with the message, but I think the childish props in the video detract from the seriousness of the story. For those of us who are grown up, a more “Walter Cronkhite” style of presentation may be more effective in convincing doubters of the sagacity and truthfulness of this information. So, IER, give it a try in your next informative documentary.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous on

    YOu don’t need to go to Spain to find out a horrible green energy experiment. YOu just have to come to Ontario, Canada and see what the Liberals have done in this province with their Long-term Energy Plan.

    McGuinty, the Ontario Liberal premier, granted people and corporations .80c per KWH feed-in-tariff (subsidy) for solar production and over .13 cents KWH F.I.T for wind production. Wind and solar were suppossed to take the role of coal production which is scheduled to be completely eradicated from Ontario’s energy mix by 2014.

    The Premier, who is stated to have collected heavy campaign contributions from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (a consortium of companies who are heavily involved in Green Power), usurped local planning authority and basically forced Ontario rural residents to have huge wind turbine farms within 600 metres of their homes. People are protesting like crazy and organizing to fight this authoritarian model of leadership.

    As well, our power bills have increased about 50% and we are told to expect them to double again in the next 8 years! Like Spain, Ontario is losing – not gaining jobs with renewable investment. With higher power bills, the smart money is investing in cheaper jurisdictions. Most of the job growth in Ontario is now from government hiring (2 out of every 3 jobs by last estimates) and we are stuck with an $19 billion dollar budget deficit.

    The reason that renewables do not reduce emissions is that they are intermittent power sources. Therefore, they must be backed up gas-fired generating stations. Problem is, when you throttle a gas-fired plant (from low to high and on and off and vice-versa) you dramatically increase the output of their emissions.

    Also, our next likely government is to be of the progressive conservative variety which has committed itself to building more large nuclear stations which are cheaper than renewables when everything is factored in but it takes 10 years to build these things (if your lucky) and nuclear is prone to massive budget overruns.

    Furthermore, our massive wind investment in this province blows at night, when we least need the power. The government has paid sums to various major energy suppliers (like Bruce Power) not put energy into the grid at night because we have so much juice from the wind. Does that make sense?

    Whatever you do in the United States, please do not fall for the Liberal B.S of renewable energy. It is wasteful, expensive and doesn’t help the environment. It is simply a coordinated method of redistributing wealth from taxpayers and ratepayers to corporations like GE, Siemens and other small or medium sized firm. If renewable energy makes sense, then it should make sense with decent tax incentives but not with massive subsidies. Diddo for all energy sources.

    Working in the energy industry, I have seen trends and these trends that are playing out are:
    1. Model of energy is moving from centralization to decentralization thru Combined heat and power systems like Fuel cells, micro-turbines and biogas systems that use waste to energy conversion processes.
    2. Nuclear power is moving to SMR technology (small modular reactors) which are much less capital intensive, can be scaled as energy demand grows, are manufactured and shipped rather than constructed and produce much less waste.
    3. With the advent of major shale gas finds in North America, gas is likely to be cheap for a long-time. Converting coal to natural gas stations may be a suitable alternative provided long-term gas contracts are signed.
    4. To harness wind, which blows at night, and solar which the sun’s shining in the north is not reliable, it is best to provide tax incentives to build energy storage parks with flywheels and battery banks (which at present are expensive but are dropping in price).

    Hopefully this helps.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous on

    YOu don’t need to go to Spain to find out a horrible green energy experiment. YOu just have to come to Ontario, Canada and see what the Liberals have done in this province with their Long-term Energy Plan.

    McGuinty, the Ontario Liberal premier, granted people and corporations .80c per KWH feed-in-tariff (subsidy) for solar production and over .13 cents KWH F.I.T for wind production. Wind and solar were suppossed to take the role of coal production which is scheduled to be completely eradicated from Ontario’s energy mix by 2014.

    The Premier, who is stated to have collected heavy campaign contributions from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (a consortium of companies who are heavily involved in Green Power), usurped local planning authority and basically forced Ontario rural residents to have huge wind turbine farms within 600 metres of their homes. People are protesting like crazy and organizing to fight this authoritarian model of leadership.

    As well, our power bills have increased about 50% and we are told to expect them to double again in the next 8 years! Like Spain, Ontario is losing – not gaining jobs with renewable investment. With higher power bills, the smart money is investing in cheaper jurisdictions. Most of the job growth in Ontario is now from government hiring (2 out of every 3 jobs by last estimates) and we are stuck with an $19 billion dollar budget deficit.

    The reason that renewables do not reduce emissions is that they are intermittent power sources. Therefore, they must be backed up gas-fired generating stations. Problem is, when you throttle a gas-fired plant (from low to high and on and off and vice-versa) you dramatically increase the output of their emissions.

    Also, our next likely government is to be of the progressive conservative variety which has committed itself to building more large nuclear stations which are cheaper than renewables when everything is factored in but it takes 10 years to build these things (if your lucky) and nuclear is prone to massive budget overruns.

    Furthermore, our massive wind investment in this province blows at night, when we least need the power. The government has paid sums to various major energy suppliers (like Bruce Power) not put energy into the grid at night because we have so much juice from the wind. Does that make sense?

    Whatever you do in the United States, please do not fall for the Liberal B.S of renewable energy. It is wasteful, expensive and doesn’t help the environment. It is simply a coordinated method of redistributing wealth from taxpayers and ratepayers to corporations like GE, Siemens and other small or medium sized firm. If renewable energy makes sense, then it should make sense with decent tax incentives but not with massive subsidies. Diddo for all energy sources.

    Working in the energy industry, I have seen trends and these trends that are playing out are:
    1. Model of energy is moving from centralization to decentralization thru Combined heat and power systems like Fuel cells, micro-turbines and biogas systems that use waste to energy conversion processes.
    2. Nuclear power is moving to SMR technology (small modular reactors) which are much less capital intensive, can be scaled as energy demand grows, are manufactured and shipped rather than constructed and produce much less waste.
    3. With the advent of major shale gas finds in North America, gas is likely to be cheap for a long-time. Converting coal to natural gas stations may be a suitable alternative provided long-term gas contracts are signed.
    4. To harness wind, which blows at night, and solar which the sun’s shining in the north is not reliable, it is best to provide tax incentives to build energy storage parks with flywheels and battery banks (which at present are expensive but are dropping in price).

    Hopefully this helps.

    Reply
  10. Terell Jones on

    Maybe he shouldn’t be modeling Spain, but highly consider Germany and China who are light years ahead of the US when it comes to creating Green Jobs.

    Reply

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