The continuing myth of green energy jobs

Sunil Sharan:
A charismatic Barack Obama peddled the idea of 5 million new green jobs as he ran for the presidency in 2008. Actually, the number was Hillary Clinton’s idea, but when she lost, Obama appropriated it. I wrote an article in 2010 in the Washington Post busting Obama’s myth, and the green industry rewarded me by keeping me unemployed ever since.

Obama invested billions in the clean energy sector. Flameout after flameout like the solar company, Solyndra, resulted. There was hardly any accrual in new green jobs.

That was the myth of the clean-energy industry — that the technology and business models were ready for 5 millions jobs. They weren’t. I was engineer in one corner of clean energy — smart utility meters.

While politicians sold their myth, the shale oil and gas industry created half a million jobs during the first half of the Obama presidency, all without federal funding or incentives. The economy was still rocky in 2012, and these shale jobs directly contributed in Obama winning his second term.

Again, we have a magnetic upstart, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. All of D.C. (save for Nancy Pelosi) seems in awe of her. Ocasio-Cortez has just unveiled a new green pipe dream. She doesn’t talk much about green jobs, tainted as the term has become. Instead she outlines her plans to make the US a net-zero emitter in 10 years.

She believes that renewable energy is the answer to her prayers. Solar and wind are the two pillars of renewable energy. But they are intermittent providers of power, and so need to be stored. No energy storage solution is on the horizon. Until one emerges, solar and wind will never prove viable.

Reaching net-zero status means that the US will also have to remove or store emissions. Once again, technology to remove and store emissions, otherwise known as carbon capture and storage, is not ready to do what Ocasio-Cortez wants from it over the next decade.

Electric vehicles have become all the rage. But these just transfer emissions from the tailpipe to the smokestack, in the sense that a power plant burning fossil fuels is still needed to generate the electricity needed to power these cars.
Green energy is one of the most overrated concepts in recent memory.  It is inefficient and vulnerable to extreme weather events.  It might have a few off the grid applications, but for a city, it is too undependable.  Its inability to scale up or down to meet demand makes it little more than a supplemental source of energy.

The US is still wasting money on subsidies for this inefficient source of energy.  It would take a fascist or communist dictatorship to impose the Green New Deal and it would still fail and lead to bankruptcy and poverty. 

About the only thing it would cure is the immigration problem because no one would want to come here to live under that mess.


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