THE BLOG
12/20/2012 10:07 am ET | Updated Feb 19, 2013

With Spain's Youth Unemployment at 50 Percent, Why Not Try for More Clean Energy Investment and Jobs?

One thing I simply do not understand about the U.S. and Europe's rising unemployment is why not support more green jobs in renewable energy? We are going to need more and more people who are educated and trained and have experience in these industries in the years to come. But everyone keeps talking about the old pollutiing oil and gas, and now shale gas as the way to create employment (and national security!). This is short-term thinking. As for Europe, it is next to impossible as fracking is outlawed in many countries, though Poland is being eyed more often and some testing is taking place in several countries.

In Spain, where solar power makes sense, and large-scale CSP projects are feasible, it simply is suicidal to not include forward-thinking green jobs as part of solving the unemployment problem. Just as Europe started gearing up for a move towards more renewable energy and investors are demanding it, with Germany and Switzerland going off nuclear, Spain, a solar power center, has passed disturbing legislation which will hurt the market and job creation in the sector. This article sums up what is going on, funding cuts for Concentrated Solar Power.

"International CSP investors are running out of patience with the Spanish government as lawmakers prepare to pass measures that will ruin the market."

It is short-term thinking that got us into the financial crisis, and the only way to combat it is by investors making a lot of noise, as they did during Doha. Trillions of euros and dollars representing pension funds, investors who want more transparency, impact invetsors and others concerned with a clean future and cutting down on fossil fuel pollution and climate change, are looking to invest in CSP as a game-changer.

This video supported by the Desertec foundation, includes interviews with people who are dependent upon clean energy employment:

I think young people and others should actually be in the streets protesting not only against the austerity which is hurting them, but for the creation of jobs which are sustainable. Their tax money can be better spent. And many of the countries where there are economic difficulties, be they in Southern Europe or North Africa, could only benefit from more, not less, renewable energy.