Although there was not a single mention of "climate change" in the 2011 State of the Union address
, President Obama touted 'green' energy as "an investment that will... create countless new jobs for our people." However, a recent study
by Senior Energy Economist Gurcan Gulen of the Center for Energy Economics, University of Texas, concludes "that adding 'net jobs' cannot be defended as a benefit of investing in green energy" and that aggressive promotion of these technologies will negatively impact purchasing power, employment
The study finds that the "realities of the global energy scene are:
• Most green technologies are far away
from the scale that is needed to replace conventional fuels in a significant way. Although it is reasonable to expect improvements in technology and cost structure in the future, it is difficult to predict the development path that can be included in modeling exercises.
• These technologies are more expensive than conventional technologies and hence need subsidies, tax incentives and mandates to gain market share (some more than others). A carbon tax could level the playing field for wind at about $20-$30 per ton but needs to be much higher for solar and other technologies
. [n.b. carbon credits were selling for $0.05
per ton on the Chicago Climate Exchange prior to its closure]
• They face integration problems due to their intermittency, immaturity of technology, scalability limits, inability to communicate with existing infrastructure, and other technical or power market economics constraints.