RWI Positionen

RWI Positionen 69

Jobmotor Erneuerbare?

by Manuel Frondel

07/2017, 10 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-823-3



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.