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RWI Positionen #69

Jobmotor Erneuerbare?

Eine Bestandsaufnahme der Beschäftigungseffekte durch die Förderung alternativer Energietechnologien

Germany invests 25 billion Euro a year in subsidies for alternative technologies producing energy from renewable sources. Politicians and lobbyists alike claim that - next to positive effects regarding reduced carbon emissions - these public expenses created an "employment boom". The study at hand provides a careful account of employment effects induced by the subsidies for renewable energy production. The analysis has to rely on data provided by the technology companies themselves as the renewable energy sector is not fully covered by official data collectors such as the Federal Statistical Offices (Statistisches Bundesamt). Their employment numbers are very likely overstated due to self-interest. Moreover, setting newly created jobs in the sector of alternative technologies in context with jobs that were cut down - either directly because the conventional energy production became uneconomical in the face of subsidized energy from renewable sources or due to the levy put on energy prices - serious doubts are in order whether a positive balance regarding employment effects is even possible. In sum, this RWI Position arrives at the conclusion that there was no "employment boom" due to renewable energy subsidies, and any jobs created in the field yield high opportunity costs.