Friday, April 07, 2006

Renewable energy brings more jobs

Opponents of the Kyoto model for climate change argue that jobs are at stake. What's the truth?

Lobbying groups such as The International Council for Capital Formation (ICCF) aver that job losses of at least 200,000 in each of Italy, Germany, UK are in order.

This type of scaremongering is believed by some people. In any switchover of technologies, people need retraining - job losses here mean gains there.

So what's the bigger picture? In 2002, the European Commission looked at the potential for new jobs in renewable energy in each European country (the MITRE study).

They estimated what would happen if each country achieved its current renewables target (10% for the UK by 2010, 22% for Europe as a whole). This was compared with what would happen if each country worked to exceed the 2010 targets (about 14% in the UK by 2010) and extended this enhanced commitment until 2020.

The net number of full-time equivalent jobs that would be created in the UK is shown below. These figures take into account any reduction in jobs in traditional energy industries.

FTE jobs in renewable energy



Current policy



Advanced policy



The number of extra UK jobs created in each sector of the economy with an advanced energy policy (number of jobs in 2020 vs 2000):

Small hydro: 2,000
Wind: 35,400
PV solar: 1,500
Biomass/biofuels: 124,200
Waste/biogas: 17,500
Solar thermal: 2,400
Agricultural fuels: 40,400
Total: 223,600

The figures above do not include any work done towards exporting these technologies, but there is of course also an enormous export market available to European countries that pioneer renewable technology.

The ICCF advocates the reductions of tax, regulatory, anti-trust, and trade barriers to promote business investment, strong job growth and competitiveness.
The Board of Trustees of ICCF includes bankers, financiers, and Sir Richard Greenbury, a former Chairman and CEO of Marks & Spencer (responsible for its disastrous results), right-winger Dr. Vincenz Liechtenstein, member of the Upper House of the Austrian Parliament and George Shultz former US Secretary of State. So that shows where this bunch of dinosaurs are at.

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