Lessons from Europe's Green Jobs Revolution

With $2.3 billion in Recovery Act tax credits allocated for green manufacturers, President Obama and other Democratic politicians have high hopes for green technology. Are these expectations realistic? To better estimate the impact of this investment, in his latest Energy and Environment Outlook, AEI environmental scientist Kenneth Green takes a look at Europe's green jobs revolution. He finds that it has resulted in job loss, higher energy prices, and corruption--results that do not bode well for green job investments in the United States.

Key points from Green's Outlook can be found below:

  • In Spain, each "green" megawatt installed destroys 5.28 jobs elsewhere in the economy on average.
  • Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy.
  • Wind and solar power have raised household energy prices by 7.5 percent in Germany, and have resulted in Denmark having the highest electricity prices in the European Union.
  • Since 2000, Spain spent €571,138 ($771,000 approximately) on each "green job," including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1,350,000) per job in the wind industry.

Kenneth Green is available for interview and can be reached at kgreen@aei.org (202.862.4883) or through his assistant at hiwa.alaghebandian@aei.org (202.862.5820). For all other media inquiries, please contact Hampton Foushee at hampton.foushee@aei.org (202.862.5806).

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