Magnifica e beneaugurante apparizione su The Economist di Gabriel Calzada, braccio destro del Prof. Huerta de Soto
Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, a professor at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, has tried to use empirical data to estimate how Spain’s subsidies for renewables, which so impressed Mr Obama, will affect employment. He calculates that the subsidies for existing renewable-electricity plants, which the government has promised to pay for 25 years, will cost €29 billion. Those subsidies, in turn, have created 50,200 jobs, according to data from the European Commission. That equates to a subsidy of over €570,000 per job.
Spain’s private sector, on the other hand, creates a job for every €260,000 or so invested, by Mr Calzada’s reckoning. So if the government had left the €29 billion in the hands of the private sector, it would have created 113,000 jobs with it—2.2 times as many. In other words, the government, Mr Calzada finds, is destroying 2.2 ordinary jobs for every green one it creates.
The result is particularly garish because Spain’s subsidies for renewables have been so generous (it recently scaled them back for new projects). Green subsidies bring other benefits that Mr Calzada does not consider, such as reducing demand for, and thus the price of, fossil fuels. The biggest benefit of all, of course, is to the environment, in the form of reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. Taking all of that into account would doubtless make the numbers look better. Nonetheless, Mr Calzada’s paper does suggest that Mr Obama should temper his enthusiasm for Spain’s “bold investments” in renewable energy. As all the studies discussed suggest, some ways of creating jobs—or fighting global warming, for that matter—are cheaper than others.
La bozza dello studio originale si trova qui.