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Green Jobs Myth

December 1, 2013

By Paul Homewood



We are constantly reminded of how important the green economy is, and how tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of green jobs will be created if we keep to the faith.

For instance, a few months ago the subsidy hunting RenewableUK, were forecasting that the offshore wind industry would be generating 70,000 jobs by 2020.

Of course, they never mention the jobs lost as fossil fuel power stations shut down, or the thousands more jobs that migrate abroad to regions where energy is cheaper.

But taking their claims at face value, how many jobs have actually been created since 2008 by the wind and photovoltaic industries?



Since 2008, the Department for Business has been keeping statistics on “Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services” , or LCEGS. According to these annual surveys, the employment figures for wind and solar are as follows. ( 2011/12 is the latest year available).


  Wind Solar
2008/9 91514 39177
2011/12 94068 40377
Increase 2554 1200


So despite a more than doubling of wind/solar output between 2008 and 2011, from 7.11 to 15.75 TWh, the increase in the number of jobs has been a measly 3754.

And the subsidy per job? Let’s do a quick fag packet calculation.


Assuming a subsidy of £50 MWh, roughly the current subsidy for onshore wind, (offshore is greater), and based on an increase in wind/solar output of 8.64 TWh pa, the subsidy works out at:


£50 MWh x 1000000 = £50 million per TWh

£50 million x 8.64  = Total Subsidy of £432 million.

The subsidy per job is therefore £115077 pa.



Perhaps the most surprising fact though is that, as the tables below show, employment actually declined in 2011/12 from the previous year in both the wind and solar sectors. Perhaps we need to pay bigger subsidies!






  1. December 1, 2013 2:11 pm

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    Sickening figures Paul. Sure it would help people in fuel poverty although I believe the figures don’t stack up on that as Roger Andrews points out at the Talkshop

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    December 1, 2013 2:24 pm

    As we know everything and I do mean everything about Climate and Green is exaggerated in their direction.
    But at least there has been some minor movement in the MSM’s position on reporting the truth.

  3. December 1, 2013 3:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Quixotes Last Stand.

  4. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 1, 2013 6:36 pm

    A reasonable person can be forgiven for not fully understanding the exact nature of the jobs reported as “green.” For example, in the table there is “Alternative Fuel Vehicle” that might suggest an innovative technology (wind-up rubber bands powering your personal vehicle!?). The inventive minds in the USA-Green religion concluded that a city bus, when converted from diesel to compressed gas, would produce a new green job category, namely bus driver. He or she became a green job. And so it goes.

  5. Joe Public permalink
    December 1, 2013 7:10 pm


    How could you fail to recognise the massive increase in DECC employees whose sole purpose in life is to dream-up wild schemes with something ‘Green’ in the title?

    There’s also the number of BBC ‘Environmental’ correspondents, whose duty it is to extol the virtues of various ‘Green’ schemes; AND, simultaneously decry all manner of ‘conventional’ energy schemes.

    There are the employees of the newer companies which have offered Tim Yeo inducements and/or directorships to advise on their strategies.

    Heck, Tim Yeo’s gardener & tailor might also be classified as living off (his) ‘immorally-gained’ earnings.

  6. December 2, 2013 1:03 am

    Make beans illegal to import, sell, or consume & cram corks up the backsides of everybody on the dole: et voilà! 15 million green jobs!

  7. cornwallwindwatch permalink
    December 2, 2013 11:40 am

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.


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