Archive for the ‘Green Initiative’ Category
2226: The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, quoting a senior official of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said the US made the offer immediately after the disaster damaged Fukushima No 1 nuclear plant. According to the unnamed senior official, US support was based on dismantling the troubled reactors run by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) some 250 km (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo. However, the government and TEPCO thought the cooling system could be restored by themselves, the report said.
Am I reading this right?
Our government demanded that the Japanese dismantle – that is, permanently remove – over five gigawatts of power in order to help them with a critical safety problem that had the potential to destroy 100 square miles of land and kill or injure thousands of people?
That as compensation for helping them we demanded that they cripple their electrical generating capacity on a permanent basis?
You have to be kidding me.
This is an extremely serious charge. If it’s true it stands alone as grounds for impeachment and dismembering every single federal agency involved.
Perhaps this explains why the US Military and/or civilian authorities didn’t stick a couple of big-ass generators on a transport plane and get them over there, restoring power to the reactors within hours of the incident and avoiding all of the serious radiation and physical damage at the plant.
This allegation is ridiculously incendiary and demands an immediate and complete Congressional investigation. Not only do the citizens of the United States deserve to know the truth (or falsity) of this charge (and who initiated it if it is false), but so do the Japanese people.
If this is how this man treats our friends – attempting to use a crisis threatening the lives of civilians to score a political point and advance his “green” agenda…..
Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised by this, but I take no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so.’
The long delays typical with environmentally friendly projects — combined with reports of green stimulus funds being used to create jobs in China and other countries, rather than in the U.S. — appear to have killed the administration’s appetite for pushing green projects as an economic cure.
After months of hype about the potential for green energy to stimulate job growth and lead the economy out of a recession, the results turned out to be disappointing, if not dismal. About $92 billion — more than 11 percent — of Mr. Obama’s original $814 billion of stimulus funds were targeted for renewable energy projects when the measure was pushed through Congress in early 2009.
Only about $20 billion of the allotted funds have been spent — the slowest disbursement rate for any category of stimulus spending. Private analysts are skeptical of White House estimates that the green funding created 190,700 jobs.
The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.
Whip out your calculators: 82,000 into $20 billion means those green jobs cost about $243,902 each. Let’s hope they pay well. The high cost per job should come as no surprise; despite the hype from green groups and the administration, cleantech jobs generally require enormously expensive subsidies.
For example, back in January, the administration was touting the $2.3 billion in manufacturing tax credits as creating 17,000 jobs — or about $135,294 per job. Even that tally proved to be overly optimistic, given the fact that many of those jobs went to other countries.
Sad really. Michigan, the state that entered a recession long before the rest of the country because of its shortsighted proclivity to put all its financial eggs in one basket; the state whose economic well-being hinged on the success or failure of the automobile industry has repeated its mistake. Ironically, both industries owe their ultimate failure to the same thing: government.
The automobile industry had been on an unsustainable path of union submission for years, when government policies allowed them to inflate the costs of automobiles beyond what would be affordable to the average person’s wages. Easy credit to anyone who could fog a mirror allowed people to purchase cars well beyond their means for years. (Sound like the housing market? That’s because it is an identical situation.) The unions continued to ask for more and the auto companies found it easier to capitulate because of the stupidity of government policy. They relied on this unsound and untenable strategy until it ran them into the ground. Then what did they do? They turned to the government for a bailout of their unviable financial strategy, which bailout was handed out by the government for the ‘good of the unions,’ to all but one notable exception: Ford Motor Company who so far, has gone it alone in the private sector. Only time will tell if they are able to work their way out of the situation they got themselves into.
As the automobile industry sat up with their collective hands out, Michigan government was busy trying to jump onto the next stupid federal policy: green jobs. The State of Michigan itself, hoping to grasp onto more government cheese, decided to play ball with the new administration’s push of green energy for furtherance of its Cap & Trade policies. Since that time, we’ve watched as the fraud of that scheme has been exposed from everyone to Al Gore and his Chicago Climate Exchange to the outing of the falsifying of data on the original science of ‘global warming,’ which fanaticism started the prospect of the new Ponzi scheme.
Despite watching this unfold, Michigan continued to pour money (much of which it didn’t even have in the first place) into investing in green energy jobs. The cost of such jobs being, as cited above, somewhere around $200,000 each. That is not to say they PAY that much, but that’s how much the State of Michigan spent to obtain each one. Over the past two years Michigan has almost exclusively invested its entire future into this federal government-invented scam.
Yes Michigan, you are a sucker. There is no such thing as a free lunch and continuing to pursue it is nothing less than pure folly. True wealth lies in production of goods and services that people can purchase at a price sustainable with the wages from own production and hard work – not from that which is artificially maintained with unsustainable government policies. The entire country is about to get a lesson in what true production means, too bad Michigan had to be the first in line to step up and take the bait.
Hallelujah! Obama is cheering the news of 1,500 permanent jobs. The only problem is those jobs are going to cost taxpayers $1,333,333 each.
Please consider Obama awards $2B for solar power, hails new jobs
The government is handing out nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that President Barack Obama says will create thousands of jobs and increase the use of renewable energy sources.
“We’re going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America,” Obama said.
The two companies that will receive the money from the president’s $862 billion economic stimulus are Abengoa Solar, which will build one of the world’s largest solar plants in Arizona, creating 1,600 construction jobs; and Abound Solar Manufacturing, which is building plants in Colorado and Indiana. The Obama administration says those projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.
Obama has said that to bring the nation’s economy back from the brink of a depression, it was necessary to add to the country’s debt in the short term.
Ignoring marginally attached workers, discouraged workers, and those working part-time who want a full-time job, there are approximately 14.6 million unemployed.
Counting 1,500 permanent jobs at $1,333,333 each, it would only cost $1.94666618 × 1013 ($19.47 trillion) to have full employment. That qualifies as aggressive in my book.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Barring an economic bailout of mammoth proportions, the economy of Spain is completely and totally doomed. The socialist government of Spain is drowning in debt, unemployment is running rampant and everywhere you turn there are major economic problems. So will Spain be the next Greece? No. When the economy of Spain implodes it is going to be a whole lot worse for the world economy. The economy of Spain is more than four times the size of the economy of Greece. Spain accounts for 11.5 percent of eurozone GDP while Greece only accounts for approximately 2.5 percent. Spain is the 4th largest economy in the 16 nation eurozone and it is the 10th largest economy in the world. If the economy of Spain fails it will cause a shockwave that will be felt in every corner of the globe. In fact, there are quite a few analysts that believe if Spain defaults it would ultimately lead to the breakup of the eurozone.
So will the EU step up and bail out Spain? Well, there are rumors that EU officials have begun work on a bailout package for Spain which is likely to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, but on Monday the European Commission, the Spanish government and the German government all denied that the European Union was preparing a bailout for the Spanish economy.
Of course we all know that politicians don’t always tell us the truth.
So who knows what is going on over there right now.
But the reality is that the economy of Spain is not going to make it much longer without serious help, and some EU officials are already using apocalyptic language to describe what an economic collapse in Spain would mean.
For example, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso recently warned that democracy could completely collapse in Greece, Spain and Portugal unless urgent action is taken to tackle the burgeoning European debt crisis.
So could democracy actually fail in those nations?
Well, considering the fact that Greece, Spain and Portugal only became democracies in the 1970s, and that all three of those countries have a history of military coups, such a scenario is not that far-fetched.
Without a doubt there would be serious public unrest in those nations if public services collapsed because their governments ran out of money.
So are there signs that the economy of Spain is about to collapse?
Well, yes, there are quite a few of them.
The following are 9 reasons why Spain is a dead economy walking….
#1) Even before this most recent crisis, unemployment in Spain was approaching Great Depression levels. Spain now has the highest unemployment rate in the entire European Union. More than 20 percent of working age Spaniards were unemployed during the first quarter of 2010. If people aren’t working they can’t pay taxes and they can’t provide for their families.
#2) In an effort to stimulate the economy, Spain’s socialist government has been spending unprecedented amounts of money and that skyrocketed the government budget deficit to a stunning 11.4 percent of GDP in 2009. That is completely unsustainable by any definition.
#3) The total of all public and private debt in Spain has now reached 270 percent of GDP.
#4) The Spanish government has accumulated way more debt than it can possibly handle, and this has forced two international ratings agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, to lower Spain’s long-term sovereign credit rating. These downgrades are making it much more expensive for Spain to finance its debt at a time when they simply can’t afford to pay more interest on their debt.
#5) There are 1.6 million unsold properties in Spain. That is six times the level per capita in the United States. Considering how bad the U.S. real estate market is, that statistic is incredibly alarming.
#6) The new “green economy” in Spain has been a total flop. Socialist leaders promised that implementing hardcore restrictions on carbon emissions and forcing the nation over to a “green economy” would result in a flood of “green jobs”. But that simply did not happen. In fact, a leaked internal assessment produced by the government of Spain reveals that the “green economy” has been an absolute economic nightmare for that nation. Energy prices have skyrocketed in Spain and the new “green economy” in that nation has actually lost more than two jobs for every job that it has created. But Spain so far seems unwilling to undo all of the crazy regulations that they have implemented.
#7) Spain’s national debt is so onerous that they are now caught in a debt spiral where anything they do will harm the economy. If they cut government expenditures in an effort to get debt under control it will devastate economic growth and crush badly needed tax revenues. But if the Spanish government keeps borrowing money their credit rating will continue to decline and they will almost certainly default. The truth is that the Spanish government is caught in a “no win” situation.
#8) But even now the IMF is projecting that the Spanish economy is going nowhere fast. The International Monetary Fund says there will be no positive GDP growth in Spain until 2011, at which point it will still be below one percent. As bleak as that forecast is, many analysts believe that it is way too optimistic considering the fact that Spain’s economy declined by about 3.6 percent in 2009 and things are rapidly getting worse.
#9) The Spanish population has gotten used to socialist handouts and they are not going to accept public sector pay cuts, budget cuts to social programs and hefty tax increases easily. In fact, there is likely to be some very serious social unrest before all of this is said and done. On May 21st, thousands of public sector workers took to the streets of Spain to protest the government’s austerity plan. But that was only an appetizer. Spain’s two main unions are calling for a major one day general strike to protest the government’s planned reforms of the country’s labor market. The truth is that financial shock therapy does not go down very well in highly socialized nations such as Greece and Spain. In fact, the austerity measures that Spain has been pressured to implement by the IMF have proven so unpopular that many are now projecting that Spain’s socialist government will be forced to call early elections.
So what is going to happen in Spain?
The truth is that nobody can predict for sure how things are going to play out over the coming weeks and months.
But what everyone can agree on is that the stakes are incredibly high.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, world famous economist Nouriel Roubini put it this way: “If Greece goes under, that’s a problem for the eurozone. If Spain goes under, it’s a disaster.”
But right now the entire population of Spain (along with much of the rest of the world) is completely distracted by the World Cup. As long as the Spanish team does well, that is likely to keep the Spanish population sedated. But if the Spanish team gets knocked out of the tournament early that will put the entire Spanish population in a really, really bad mood and that could mean a really chaotic summer for the nation of Spain.
Leaked Doc Proves Spain’s ‘Green’ Policies — the Basis for Obama’s — an Economic Disaster (PJM Exclusive)
PJM has received a leaked internal document confirming Spain realizes its green failures, just as Obama pushes the American Power Act based on Spain’s program. (Click here for the original Spanish document. An English translation is provided in this article.)
Pajamas Media has received a leaked internal assessment produced by Spain’s Zapatero administration. The assessment confirms the key charges previously made by non-governmental Spanish experts in a damning report exposing the catastrophic economic failure of Spain’s “green economy” initiatives.
On eight separate occasions, President Barack Obama has referred to the “green economy” policies enacted by Spain as being the model for what he envisioned for America.
Later came the revelation that Obama administration senior Energy Department official Cathy Zoi — someone with serious publicized conflict of interest issues — demanded an urgent U.S. response to the damaging report from the non-governmental Spanish experts so as to protect the Obama administration’s plans.
Most recently, U.S. senators have introduced the vehicle for replicating Spain’s unfolding economic meltdown here, in the form of the “American Power Act.” For reasons that are obvious upon scrutiny, it should instead be called the American Power Grab Act.
But today’s leaked document reveals that even the socialist Spanish government now acknowledges the ruinous effects of green economic policy.
Unsurprisingly for a governmental take on a flagship program, the report takes pains to minimize the extent of the economic harm. Yet despite the soft-pedaling, the document reveals exactly why electricity rates “necessarily skyrocketed” in Spain, as did the public debt needed to underwrite the disaster. This internal assessment preceded the Zapatero administration’s recent acknowledgement that the “green economy” stunt must be abandoned, lest the experiment risk Spain becoming Greece.
The government report does not expressly confirm the highest-profile finding of the non-governmental report: that Spain’s “green economy” program cost the country 2.2 jobs for every job “created” by the state. However, the figures published in the government document indicate they arrived at a job-loss number even worse than the 2.2 figure from the independent study.
This document is not a public report. Spanish media has referred to its existence in recent weeks though, while Bloomberg and the Washington Examiner have noted the impact: Spain is now forced to jettison its plans — Obama’s model — for a “green economy.”
Remarkably, these items have received virtually no media attention.
An item which has been covered widely, however, is that President Obama is now pressuring Spain to turn off its spigot of public debt in the name of averting a situation similar to that of Greece.
Also covered widely is Obama’s promotion of the American Power Act — the legislation which would replicate Spain’s current situation in the United States.
Put simply, Obama is currently promoting a policy in the U.S. which is based on a policy that he wishes to see Spain abandon. Welcome to Obamaland, the particulars of which are explained in a fashion grandly more illuminating than this Obama-Zapatero dance in Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America.
A translation of the leaked Zapatero government internal slide presentation: “Renewable Energy: Situation and Objectives April 2010”
1) Renewable Energy: Situation and Objectives April 2010
2) Renewable Energy Situation: The price of electricity affects household welfare
According to EuroStat data, the cost of electricity for households in Spain moved from below the European average to slightly above the average (+5% higher)
3) Renewable Energy Situation: The price of electricity determines the competitiveness of Spanish industry
Energy is a key input in industrial production processes. In basic industries (cement, industrial gases, metals, basic chemicals and steel), energy costs are three times the labor cost. The electrical cost for the Spanish industry is well above the European average (+17% higher).
4) Renewable Energy Situation: The price increase is mainly due to additional costs of renewables
The price of electricity determines the competitiveness of Spanish industry
Historical evolution of the prices of light and pool price [Appears above a graph showing a 77% price spike in industry's price for electricity]
A price increase cannot be explained by the evolution of electricity market price (pool), which has even fallen since 2005
5) Renewable Energy Situation: The price increase is mainly due to additional costs of renewables
The increase in the over-cost paid for renewable energy explains more than 120% of the variation of the electric bill, and has offset the reduction in production costs of conventional electricity (25%)
To these direct costs of renewables must be added indirect costs, as the need for additional investment in networks to integrate renewables (about 10% of planned investment in the planning) and capacity payments to the modular backup facilities (coal and gas) that are running a smaller number of hours
6) Situation of renewable energy: renewable energy has had a positive impact …
Thanks to the increase of renewable energies in the mix:
The rate of energy supply has increased by 3 points since 2005, to 23%, and the import of energy products has been reduced 5.500M Euro (including hydraulics).
Emissions have been reduced significantly, thanks primarily to the mix of electric generation being much cleaner (less than 120 tons of CO2 emissions per GWh of oil produced).
7) Situation of renewable energy: but its evolution in recent years has been too fast
From 2004-2010 the amount of premiums [over-cost paid for renewable energy; the subsidy] has increased fivefold. Only in 2009 it doubled over the previous year to reach 5.045M€, equivalent in amount to the entire public investment in R + D + i in Spain. [The renewables subsidy equaled the entire cost of producing electricity in Spain]. The forecast for 2010 is 6.300M€ (although 5.800M€ budgeted in January). This should add 1.000M€ for cogeneration.
With operational facilities, the renewable sector will receive in the next 25 years more than 126.000M€. In this factor, it adds a commitment to continue providing input to the renewable energies in the mix to meet the European objectives, which will increase this figure significantly.
8 ) Situation of renewable energy: Heterogeneity of renewables: costs
In 2009, the solar photovoltaic technology accounted for 53% of the extra cost of renewables, while they contributed only 11% of energy generated from these sources.
9) Situation of renewable energy: Heterogeneity of renewables: Impact on the external sector
Exports: Net exports of Spanish wind industry 1.300M€ contributed to the trade balance in 2008 and, besides, wind generation avoids fossil imports of 3.6M€.
Imports: By contrast, the PV industry growth was not gradual, hampering the formation of an auxiliary Spanish industry. In 2008 imports of photovoltaic cells and modules in Spain amounted to 5.182M€ (28.6% of net imports of crude and derivatives) as long around the 62% were imported.
10) Situation of renewable energy: Heterogeneity of renewables: Technical problems
Network Management. The proliferation of small plants and fluctuations in the availability of technologies hinder the management of the network.
11) Situation of renewable energy:
Regulatory mechanisms to support renewables have been:
– Pioneers in the world, which has allowed us to stay ahead of the industry, learn from the experience and finding some excesses.
There are numerous examples of these high returns: analyst reports, premiums accepted in other countries, over-subscription in the pre-records, facilities willing to accept lower premiums, “paper market” …
– Overly cautious about the ability of cost reduction technologies
– Inflexible, thereby preventing adjust remuneration to market signals and technological advancement
– Hardly told them by the administration in setting prices initially and have no control over the amounts … Which has caused a “bubble effect,” such as seen with photovoltaics in 2008 and the emergence of the thermal bubble (which would have continued in 2010 and successively had it not been for the pre-registration requirement imposed), as well as a sharp increase the over-costs [subsidies] paid to renewables in the form of a feed-in tariff.
12) Situation of renewable energy: Heterogeneity of renewables: International comparison
In wind power, our rates are in line with Europe. However, solar photovoltaics, Spanish retribution has been the most high, despite the higher number of hours of sun and more solar radiation.
Spain Wind € 75-84/MWh Solar €265/295/350/450/MWh
China Wind € 56-67 Solar € 121/MWh
Japan Wind € 73-89/MWh
Germany Wind € 92/MWh Solar € 287-395/MWh
France Wind € 82/MWh Solar €310-380
Italy Wind € 85/MWh Solar € 350-390
Poland Wind € 90/MWh
13) Situation of renewable energy: Recent technological developments
The investment costs of renewable energies mainly depend on its technological learning curve
The plots have experienced tremendous technological development in recent years, reducing their investment costs
Not being mature technologies, have much future room for improvement, which informs a decision to slow its current expansion
14) Situation of renewable energy: What have we done?
The Government has adapted the following initiatives:
– A new framework for PV in 2008 (RD1578/2008) that brings order to the pace of installation and marking signs ecstatic that transfer with May fast technological development gains to consumers
– Creation of a technology pre-registration for the remainder of May 2009 has allowed us to avoid the “bubble” that was generated in thermal and prevent the system being made even more untenable in 2010.
– Package of measures for the reduction to the tariff deficit with input from the traditional electric companies, consumers and government (without the contribution of renewable energy).
15) Situation of renewable energy: Difficulties in reducing the tariff deficit
– The Government is committed by law to eliminate by 2013 the tariff deficit
– Despite the evolution of the wholesale market (pool), the balance of certain items (the Iberian peninsula, nuclear waste) and higher light, the rate deficit was only slightly reduced.
– Reaching 20% of final energy and 40% of electric generation from renewable sources by 2020.
– Reducing the deficit and preserve the competitiveness of industry and household welfare.
– Transfer gains in technological developments to consumers.
– Avoid speculation caused by excess profits, which damages its image and retards the construction of the plants pre-assigned (with an adverse effect on the industry).
– Mitigate the incentive for fraud that can generate the current differential between the rate and the price of the pool.
– Promote technological improvement and cost reduction, advancing the attainment of “grid parity,” which will allow greater installation of renewables until 2020.
Christopher Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and author of the recently-published Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America.