Friday, April 18, 2008

About Those Green Jobs

Alarmists love to tout the "green collar" jobs that their "low carbon" future will bring.

Forget for a moment that after accounting for the "green collar" jobs any national global warming legislation like Liberman-Warner, might create, we will still see a net loss of millions of jobs.

Those green collar jobs like wind turbine technicians don't pay very well either.

This is a cruel untruth, especially in economically depressed areas. Very few permanent jobs will likely be created—perhaps a couple of low wage maintenance employees. According to a report by the National Renewable Energy Lab on windplant jobs, the national average is one maintenance employee for every 12-15 turbines. A 20 turbine windplant in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania now employs only two maintenance employees. Forty miles south, the Mountaineer wind facility in West Virginia, with over 45 turbines, employs three to four workers. For two windplants proposed for Western Maryland (Clipper Windpower and Synergics Wind Energy, both LLCs), the developers have pledged to pay each of their maintenance employees little more than $18,000 annually, less than a living wage for a family of four in this country. The collective capital value of their facilities, however, is projected to be in the neighborhood of $140 million....

During windplant construction, a few security guards and some local earth moving crews will be hired for a few months, while the bulk of construction is typically completed by primarily foreign labor, since the turbines are often manufactured in Europe with warranties serviced by the manufacturer. A recent study by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on the "Top of Iowa" windplant showed that, of the 200 total construction jobs, only 20 were local—and all disappeared within six months.

O'Malley's PSC is close to granting Clipper Windpower approval for an application on Backbone Mountain in Garrett County. Clipper's chairman is a former Enron official and delegate to the Kyoto Conference.

Readers will remember Synergics Wind LLC, especially its owner former head of the Maryland Democratic Party, Wayne Rodgers, and how Mike Miller and Ulysses Currie greased the skids allowing him to circumvent the PSC.

These projects were foundering in 2006, in fact Tom "The Advocate" Pelton noted that they lacked "financing and contracts with electricity distributors." Why? Well, because wind energy is very expensive to produce and distribute, which is why it needs government mandates. Mandates like O'Malley's recent increase of Maryland's renewable portfolio standards, which requires state utilities to purchase portions of its electricity from renewable sources like wind from 9.5% to 20%. Can you say rent seeking!

So there you have it Wayne Rodgers (did I mention he's the former head of the Maryland Democratic Party maybe David Paulson could clear that up for me) and a former Enron man are conspiring to keep wages low in order to reap the huge windfall profits from their rent seeking efforts.

Edited for clarity and new information.


Anonymous said...

What are you going do when the coal, oil, gas and uranium are all gone? They don't even have to be gone. All they have to be is close to gone and so hard to get that they become much more expensive than they are today.

Or does the word "finite" not fit next to "resource" in your lexicon.

do we all have to be like George Bush? Worry not about the cost to future generations.

They don't vote, yet. Screw 'em.

Anonymous said...

Oh let's post a few more links than ones from a guy who doesn't like how they look.

"How efficient are wind turbines?

Using a free and infinite fuel source - the wind - to meet our power needs is about as efficient as you can get. The technology is efficient too. Modern wind turbines are operational for 70-85% of the time and over the course of the year they will generate, on average, up to 35% of the theoretical maximum output1. This is known as a load or capacity factor. The exact figure is dependent on the location, technology, size, turbine reliability and wind conditions. By comparison, the load factor of conventional power stations is on average 50%2. A typical modern 2.3MW wind turbine can produce enough power for over 1,000 homes - and that is taking into account the fact that the wind doesn’t blow all the time.

Each operational wind farm typically pays back the electricity consumed in making, installing, operating and decommissioning the wind farm in the first 3-10 months of its 20 year life.3

Will wind farms make one jot of difference to global warming?
To date 74,223MW of wind energy capacity has been installed worldwide4, generating around 154 tWh annually and employing 150,000 people. That is saving as much as 133 million tonnes of CO2 every year and meeting the domestic electricity needs of more than 31 million people5.

That's hardly insignificant in our efforts to slow down dangerous climate change."

warpmine said...

Uranium or fuel for reactors isn't going anywhere number one. Ever hear of breeder reactors? NO, I thought so. Coal is everywhere. Hydro power is much more efficient than wind ever will be.

The jobs turbines create are in Europe for now and are probably going to stay there unless a government mandate can be achieved.

"Or does the word "finite" not fit next to "resource" in your lexicon."

According to studies and theories mainly" peak flow theory" thought up 50 years ago, Saudi oil fields should have all but dried up by now. Obviously they haven't. Btw, this theory was conceived in the mind of a business man who was connected to the oil companies in every way shape and form. Oil itself is a hydrocarbon chain that is manufactured by our very own planet therefore it isn't a "fossil fuel" deposited millions of years ago resulting from life's processes.

"do we all have to be like George Bush? Worry not about the cost to future generations"

The cost to future generations is great if we do nothing today but conserve and find creative ways in which to screw all of us based on a hoax created by the religion of global warming, sorry climate change. We aren't going to change your opinion as it is much like those that practice in the cult of Islam, blasphemy, if even read about other religious doctrine or in this case scientific facts.

Energy is very expensive today because morons who worship at the alter of global warming want to save the planet from a hoax. On the other hand you have those that are making millions on this premise so they have a stake in keeping the true facts hidden from the idiots that aren't paying attention and haven't paid attention whilst they were at school. End rant/

Anonymous said...

the only manufactured religion I see in your post sets it's table on the alter of fossil fuels.

Nothing else can ever exist.

So, those who work for energy competition in the marketplace are responsible for rising gas and oil prices.

That's the funniest myth I have ever read. Where did you get that, the American Petroleum Institute?

Maybe you're right, the best course is to continue to waste finite energy resources and not save money. The best course is to remain totally dependent on middle east oil. the best course is to put our fate into the giants of oil who are suffering along with the rest of us, with record billions in profits.

Re: Breeders - it's not forever solution you seem to think it is.

But keeping trying.

Anonymous said...


An Endless Source of Energy?

There have been several failures in breeder reactor programs. The Monju fast breeder reactor in Japan was closed in 1995 until recently because of a serious accident. The French and UK breeder reactor programs have also been permanently closed. There is also no foreseeable commercial development of fusion reactors.

Additionally, uranium supplies are rapidly diminishing. The combined effects mean that nuclear power will not be able to supply the long-term needs of the world's energy demands.