Climate Activists Push Study Showing 3.8 Million Lost Jobs from Renewable Energy Transition

jacobson-renewables-job-loss

Permanent job losses by sector from a transition to 100 percent renewables. Source: Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson’s website, Stanford University

A recent study outlining a “roadmap” for transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy would cause a significant loss of permanent jobs, based on a review by Energy In Depth. The research has been widely cited by anti-fossil fuel activists, whose advocacy includes the supposed job benefits of replacing oil, natural gas, and coal with renewable technologies like wind and solar.

Continue reading on EID Climate.

Comments

  1. Scottar says:

    There is also the question of the quality of the renewable jobs created in what they will pay versus the fossil jobs they replace. In every real study concerning renewables they can’t sustain themselves without the fossils crutches of support. This is what is being discovered in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the UK.

  2. Steve, given that largely the same blog appears on your web site, http://www.masterresource.org, my critical comments posted there are relevant here as well: Here’s what Jacobson & Deluchi et al actually said, “Over all 50 states, converting would provide 3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and 2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the 3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional energy sector. Jobs are just one among a number of significant advantages in making the shift. “Converting would also eliminate 62,000 (19000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities per year today and 46,000 (12000–104000) in 2050, avoiding $600 ($85–$2400) billion per year (2013 dollars) in 2050, equivalent to 3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product.” In addition, “Converting would further eliminate $3.3 (1.9–7.1) TRILLION per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S. emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving $260 (190–320) per year in energy costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by $1500 (210–6000) per year and $8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively.” AND PLEASE NOTE: there is no ‘free market’ in energy — as the 2015 IMF subsidies report noted, governments worldwide provide $5.5 trillion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Moreover, state public utility commissions in 45 states continue to lock in regulatory incentives that reward thermal power plants over solar and wind power and end-use efficiency/productivity gains, as detailed in reports by the Regulatory Assistance Project (http://www.raponline.org)

    You responded, saying, “It is in Dr. Jacobson’s own data sets, published on his faculty website, where a column exists that shows “Net Long Term Jobs” as negative 1,284,030. So any disagreement regarding the explanation of long-term job loss is a disagreement that you have with Dr. Jacobson’s own resources, from which all of these numbers were pulled.”

    To which I pointed out: Steve, I don’t think it is me who has an issue with Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi et al’s job estimates, but you. Simply pick up the phone and call them. They will readily disabuse you of your misinterpretation, and tell you that there are, indeed, several million NET job gains, not losses, in shifting to 100% WWS.

    But for goodness sake, if centuries of economic growth has taught us anything it is that industries grow and die, and massive job displacements, as new products and services supersede the old ones. As the American Enterprise Institute noted, “Fortune 500 firms in 1955 vs. 2014; 88% are gone, and we’re all better off because of that dynamic ‘creative destruction’.” Cars eliminated horses, electromechanical switches eliminated telephone operators, ATMs replaced bank tellers, robots are replacing industrial workers, AI is replacing white collar professionals. So are fossil fuels now being eliminated. As Tom Stacy says in his comments, “Jobs is not the target.”

    More competitive efficiency/productivity gains have displaced more than 25 million bbls of oil equivalent per day over the past half century, estimated independently by LBNL’s Art Rosenfeld, RMI’s Amory Lovins, and ACEEE) ,while saving multi-hundred billion dollars on U.S. annual energy bills, and still growing. The most recent estimates indicate efficiency gains could eliminate another 25 million bbl/day equiv for under $20/bbl.

    Moreover, in recent years, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) annual reviews of utility-scale wind and solar long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have found good wind sites are generating electricity at 2.5 cents per kWh and good solar sites are generating electricity at under 4 cents per kWh (Texas, New Mexico, Nevada). This beats natural gas even with its current ultra low fuel prices, and even a large part of the existing coal fleet where just the O&M costs exceed several cents/kWh (4 cents/kWh for nuclear power, including 25% of the nuclear fleet with O&M costs averaging 6 cents/kWh). This is pure competitive head-to-head price comparisons.

    But on top of this are all the price volatilities and non-monetized and non-regulated negative externalities associated with fossil fuel consumption (which I already noted in my first comment exceed $5 trillion worldwide, eclipsing solar and wind incentives; most renewable subsidies have gone to farmers to grow biofuels, a resource not included in Jacobson & Delucchi’s assessment).

    Efficiency gains, solar PV and wind power require no fuel inputs, virtually no water to operate (95% less), and release no emissions, air pollutants, ground contaminants, and toxic wastes, whereas these are nearly intrinsic to thermal power plants (fossil and nuclear). State regulatory commissions in 45 states continue to operate under archaic last-century, industrial era regulatory incentive methodologies that pass these costs through to ratepayers (and taxpayers) instead of to the shareholders.

    These lifespan risks and liabilities are real market failures that, if included in the kinds of market-based innovative regulatory practices in 5 states, simply cannot compete against the disruptive technologies used by Jacobson, Delucchi et al in their detailed assessments.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Banning fossil fuels would be a disaster for millions of American families, and a study frequently t… […]

  2. […] at Energy in Depth, Steve Everley posts a detailed rebuttal of Stanford professor Mark Jacobson’s widely-cited claim that building a 100% renewable […]

  3. […] at Energy in Depth, Steve Everley posts a detailed rebuttal of Stanford professor Mark Jacobson’s widely-cited claim that building a 100% […]

  4. […] Jacobson’s study doesn’t show net job increases anywhere close to what he claims, according to an investigation by Energy In Depth (EID) — an oil and gas industry-backed education project. EID dug into Jacobson’s data and found […]

  5. […] Jacobson’s study doesn’t show net job increases anywhere close to what he claims, according to an investigation by Energy In Depth (EID) — an oil and gas industry-backed education project. EID dug into Jacobson’s data and found the […]

  6. […] week, Energy In Depth’s Steve Everley claimed that the Stanford plan would kill over 1.2 million more long-term jobs than it would […]

  7. […] Online records show that the professor, Dr. Mark Jacobson, edited his documents just hours after an Energy In Depth report revealed how the transition to 100 percent renewables would cause a net loss of more than 1.2 […]

  8. […] Mark Jacobson rebuked criticisms brought by Steve Everley of Energy In Depth, an oil industry-backed education project, that the Stanford study showed that using 100 percent […]

  9. […] Mark Jacobson rebuked criticisms brought by Steve Everley of Energy In Depth, an oil industry-backed education project, that the Stanford study showed that using 100 percent […]

  10. […] week, Energy In Depth’s Steve Everley claimed that the Stanford plan would kill over 1.2 million more long-term jobs than it would […]

  11. […] Jacobson’s study doesn’t show net job increases anywhere close to what he claims, according to an investigation by Energy In Depth (EID) — an oil and gas industry-backed education project. EID dug into Jacobson’s data and found the […]

  12. […] Jacobson’s study doesn’t show net job increases anywhere close to what he claims, according to an investigation by Energy In Depth (EID) — an oil and gas industry-backed education project. EID dug into Jacobson’s data and found the […]

  13. […] Study: 3.8 Million US Jobs will be Lost in the Transition to Renewables […]

  14. […] a recent EID review of Jacobson’s plan found his own data showed a 100 percent renewable conversion would actually […]

  15. […] a recent EID review of Jacobson’s plan found his own data showed a 100 percent renewable conversion would actually […]

  16. […] released a “study” explaining how the country could transition to completely renewable energy. EID dove into the data provided on Jacobson’s website and found that despite claims from climate activists, […]

  17. […] renewables by 2030 would create roughly 4.3 million direct jobs. While that would be incredible, a review by Energy In Depth found that it would actually result in a net loss of around 1.2 million […]

  18. […] “Projections show that converting to a 100% renewable energy economy in Colorado will create over 49,000 construction jobs and over 21,000 operations jobs,” Polis’ campaign whitepaper claims. A footnote for the assertion cites the Solutions Project, an advocacy group dedicated to “making 100% clean energy a reality” that was co-founded by anti-fracking activist Mark Ruffalo – who has fought to ban oil and natural gas development in Colorado – and Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson. […]

  19. […] suspect from the beginning and adds to the already long list of criticism that EID has highlighted before. Furthermore, EID has also previously revealed Jacobson’s plan would cause a net loss of more […]

  20. […] domestic production of oil and natural gas positively influences industries like manufacturing, construction and agriculture. The industry supports public education and provides 10.3 million jobs for […]

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