March 18, 2009

Study: Green jobs are not a panacea

A study says green industry jobs will not be an economic panacea for the United States, creating far less work than some have imagined.

The authors of Seven Myths About Green Jobs, said that claims about a robust green economy have used dubious assumptions, the Champaign, Ill., News-Gazette reported Wednesday.

We saw a lot of attention and money being focused on green jobs. We wanted to do due diligence, said Andrew Morriss, a business and law professor at the University of Illinois, one of the study's authors.

The study concludes that solar and wind power industries will not open many jobs up for scientists or engineers. Further, government mandates supporting renewable-energy industries are not as effective as customer demands, the study says.

Co-author Roger Meiners, a law and economics professor at the University of Texas at Arlington said calculations on jobs should include job losses if green energy mandates, for example, lead to the closure of a coal-burning plant.

But, Neal Lurie, director of marketing and communications at the American Solar Energy Society, refuted the report. Tell that to Vestas Wind Systems who just had a job fair yesterday in Pueblo, Colorado, to fill 400 new manufacturing positions, Lurie said.