Are green energy and jobs really sustainable? We often hear the NDP talk about how the world would be a better place, economies would be more stable and diverse by implementing green energy.
But many of these green energy initiatives rely on government subsidies and when the government cuts the cash flow, bankruptcies ensue. In order for these jobs to come to fruition, green energy companies actually need to work - and it looks like they don’t.
The world’s largest green energy firm SunEdison, is going broke. Stocks for the Obama backed company plunged from $30 in July of 2015 to 59 cents in less than a year. The company is reportedly $11 billion dollars in debt. There’s also Abengoa, described as the flagship for Spain’s renewable energy industry. They, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Germany, a country that’s taken the most significant steps transitioning toward renewable energy, is facing challenges increasing from 6% to 28% renewable electricity. According to a report completed by the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, positives stemming from green initiatives in the country included the creation of jobs, but they’re not all that substantial. Less than half of a percent of the German population is employed in renewable energy. If Alberta were to adopt such a vigorous plan, that would equal less than 20,000 jobs - hardly enough to sustain and diversify the economy.
Fossil fuels remain the back-up for renewable energy sources, so they won’t be completely phased out. In fact, coal use has skyrocketed since the country phased out nuclear power plants in the wake of Fukushima. Actually, GHG emissions have increased 2.4%.
The German government has subsidized green energy with over 20 billion euros and it’s been shown through companies like SunEdison and Abengoa that these companies can’t function without tax dollars.
If these companies are going bankrupt, how are they going to create all of these jobs and diversify the economy? It seems to me that the sustainability of green energy and the claims of job creation that come along with it, are simply not a reality.