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Green energy leaves countries in red

When the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow, solar and wind energy producers don’t produce, making them highly unreliable.

When government subsidies come to their inevitable end, such alternative energy sources no longer are economically viable.

Even if so-called renewable energy sources created legions of high-paying domestic jobs, which they don’t, it’s imprudent to bank on a green-job Utopia to save the economy. Even more so in a worldwide recession.

Politicians promise to rejuvenate America’s economy with countless green jobs by turning away from conventional fuels. The painful reality is that the world won’t be weaned off of fossil fuel any time soon, as China demonstrates with plans to pursue 20 new, large coal mines within five years.

Wind and solar power are vastly more expensive to produce, as well as unreliable. As long as economies demand power, they will turn to abundant lower-cost coal, gas and oil.

Before committing to a futile campaign, we should note the experience of nations further along the green road to Utopia, underwritten by steep tax subsidies. Solar and wind power may be renewable, but subsidies aren’t.

Germany’s support for renewable energy is “braking” that nation’s ability to pay for power and threatens the competitiveness of electricity producers, concedes the former head of a leading green industry lobby group there.

Consequently, Germany is considering what Spain has begun — cutting tax-financed subsidies to alternative energy producers. Already reeling from economic instability, Spain has chosen to cancel 25-year subsidies that, according to an industry spokesman, will bankrupt most of the nation’s 600 photovoltaic operators.

The Italian government also will cancel its guaranteed prices to so-called green certificate holders, which designates gas-free power reliance. The Association of Foreign Banks says solar and wind companies with $6.8 billion in loans may end up in widespread default without those guarantees.

“If green sources are really cheaper than fossil fuels, there is no need to subsidize them because households and businesses would have a built-in economic incentive to rely on (renewable energy sources) rather than on supposedly dirty, more expensive energies,” writes Carlo Stagnaro, co-author of a study revealing the hidden, exorbitant costs of Italy’s subsidized energy.

Moreover, separate studies on the costs of tax-subsidized green jobs in Spain and Italy show that for each alternative energy job created, 2.2 and 4.8 normal jobs, respectively, are lost.

Pity the residents of Eigg, a small isle off Scotland’s west coast, once billed as “the world’s greenest island” after reducing its carbon footprint 30 percent with a subsidized solar, wind and hydroelectric network. But the award-winning eco-energy system now allows each household maximum energy sufficient only to power a washing machine, a small heater or a kettle, but not all at once, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

“When the good people of Eigg put their faith in strong winds and pounding rain to provide all their electricity needs,” the newspaper reported, “they overlooked one possibility — a spell of lovely weather” that left the wind calm and rivers quiet.