Many green-supporters are urging President Barack Obama to pursue a “green revolution” with big investments in renewable energy. This has the potential to open new markets and create millions of “green-collar” jobs. But is there a downside to this investment?
One short coming of the green revolution argument is that it doesn’t realistically take efficiency into account, according to a recent article by Bjørn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and “Cool It”.
According to Lomborg, green initiatives will open new markets only if other nations subsidize inefficient technologies bought abroad. Thus, the real game becomes which nations get to use other nations’ tax-financed subsidies. Apart from the resulting global inefficiency, this also creates many new industry players that will keep pushing inefficient legislation for their own profit.
The crucial point is that many green technologies are not cost-effective, at least not yet. If they were, we wouldn’t need to subsidize them. A good example is Denmark, which early on provided huge subsidies for wind power, building thousands of inefficient turbines around the country from the 1980s onwards.
The key to tackling global warming and supporting a genuinely vibrant economy is to focus on lean investments in future breakthroughs, rather than bloated subsidies for inefficient technologies. Find out more at: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090330/OPINION01/903300314/1008/Denmark+s+wind+subsidies+prove+costly