A chill wind threatens to wipe out more “green jobs”

Not only did we bid a fond farewell to another of Barack Obama’s carefully selected losers today, battery maker A123 Systems, but as Reuters reports, a lot of jobs in the wind turbine industry are looking shaky:

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas said the impending expiry of a U.S. tax credit had exacerbated a fall in orders for next year, forcing it to make more than 800 job cuts in the United States and Canada so far this year.

With the Production Tax Credit (PTC) on renewable energy set to expire at the end of the year, Vestas Wind Systems A/S had previously said it could be forced to lay off a total of 1,600 employees in North America if the scheme is not renewed.

Vestas, which is battling the effects of government austerity measures in various countries, said the 800 staff cuts so far this year represented 20 percent of its North American workforce.

“The U.S. wind industry has slowed, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the Federal Production Tax Credit extension,” said Martha Wyrsch, head of Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc.

Bummer.  As soon as big-spending governments get all “austere,” they can’t afford those expensive “green” indulgences anymore.  Windmills may look high-tech these days, but the technology is as primitive and unreliable as ever, providing negligible amounts of energy at fantastic cost.  There is essentially zero true demand for wind power at fair market prices, so it’s all corporate welfare on a massive scale.

The big problem for these imaginary industries is that they rely heavily upon private investment drawn by the promise of government handouts.  As long as the subsidy spigot is wide open, it’s not hard to find investors confident that Big Government will throw tons of good money after bad.  Politically favored projects are not allowed to fail, no matter how much it costs taxpayers.

But then “austerity” hits, and suddenly borrowing big money to keep the toy windmills turning is no longer feasible.  Everything comes apart very quickly after that, leaving taxpayers will nothing but memories of soaring rhetoric… and big interest payments on all that accumulated debt.