Those millions of New 'Green' Jobs are Going to China and India


When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently urged workers upset by the Biden administration’s decision to scuttle the Keystone XL pipeline to “learn to make solar panels”, he was oblivious to the fact that China and India dominate the solar panel manufacturing market.

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Recovery Plan is to build a modern, resilient climate infrastructure that will create millions of good-paying union jobs, but Biden, like Kerry, may not be aware of America being unable to financially compete with the world’s solar panel manufacturing markets without huge government subsidies.

China and India not only control the supply chain of materials for solar panels, wind turbines, and EV batteries, but also have the least stringent environmental controls for the mining of the renewable materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, copper, and many others, and minimal labor laws for their low-cost labor supply.

To meet their growing manufacturing sectors, China and India are deadly serious about their economic development, which means there is no place at all for electricity that cannot be delivered in volume, on demand, 24×365, whatever the weather. Hence, China has built more coal-fired power capacity in the last decade than any other country on earth as there appears to be no end in sight for China’s mammoth coal-fired power rush.

Work outsourced to foreign counties also results in a higher carbon footprint over and above doing that work in a more environmentally stringently controlled location like America.

Kerry has learned very little from the first two countries to go Green – Germany and Australia. Neither countries’ manufacturing sector can compete with China and India. With the Biden administration seeking an increase to the minimum wage to $15 an hour, America is surely not going to be competitive with China or India to manufacture solar panels in America.

Unless wages and conditions deteriorate significantly in advanced countries, the subsidized induced demand may go up for renewables in America, but those millions of new ‘green’ jobs for Americans is not going to happen as Kerry hopes. Those manufacturing jobs will go to China and India, and Americans will get the crumbs to just install those foreign made products, and then look for work at other locations.

Death and taxes are certainties, but the relationship between government subsidies to wind and solar and ‘green’ jobs becomes obvious, as soon as those subsidies get slashed.

As experienced in Germany, Australia, and Denmark, wind and solar investments disappear just as soon the government subsidies are cut. The European collapse in wind turbine manufacturers and solar panels was sudden and staggering, but not surprising. The ‘green’ economy in those countries turned gangrenous:

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Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched PTS Advance in 1995. He is an author, engineer, and energy expert who writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.