Despite this massive global government mandated driven investment in “Modern renewables” the so called “traditional renewables” (twigs, leaves and dung) continue to provide nearly as much global energy as renewables receiving lavish climate alarmist politically directed government funding. Most significant is the fact that the climate alarmism poster child renewables of wind and solar which are going to “save the world” provided only about 1% of year 2015 global energy consumption (1.6% less geothermal and biomass) which is absolutely pathetic given the massive trillions of dollars in government mandated investment in these technologies that climate alarmists demanded.
In an April 25 New York Times article (“Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal“) reporter Nadja Popovich wrote that “Last year, the solar industry employed many more Americans [373,807] than coal [160,119], while wind power topped 100,000 jobs.” Those energy employment figures are based on a Department of Energy report (“U.S. Energy and Employment Report“) released earlier this year...
Despite a huge workforce of almost 400,000 solar workers (about 20% of electric power payrolls in 2016), that sector produced an insignificant share, less than 1 percent, of the electric power generated in the United States last year (EIA data here). And that’s a lot of solar workers: about the same as the combined number of employees working at Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Pfizer, Ford Motor Company and Procter & Gamble. In contrast, it took about the same number of natural gas workers (398,235) last year to produce more than one-third of U.S. electric power, or 37 times more electricity than solar’s minuscule share of 0.90 percent. And with only 160,000 coal workers (less than half the number of workers in either solar or gas), that sector produced nearly one-third (almost as much as gas) of U.S. electricity last year.
The goal of America’s energy sector isn’t to create as many jobs as possible (as the NYT article would apparently have us believe) especially the politically-favored and heavily-subsidized renewable energy jobs. Rather, the economic goal is to produce as much electric power as possible at the lowest possible cost, and that means we want the fewest number of energy workers!