Chinese Wind Investment in the United States

The big wind deal announced shortly thereafter was actually not in China, but in the United States. A Chinese-U.S. consortium announced a $1.5 billion 600 MW wind project in West Texas to be financed mainly by Chinese banks. Not surprisingly, this project has turned out to be controversial in the United States, with many questions about how many jobs will be created in each country.

The discussion on the NY Times website suggests that there will be 2000 manufacturing jobs created in China, while in the U.S. there will be 300 temporary and 30 permanent jobs. These numbers seem high for China and low for the U.S. The main study on employment in energy industries is by Dan Kammen and his colleagues at Berkeley, and he recently gave the data in congressional testimony. His numbers suggest a range of 600-1800 likely for manufacturing and installation, i.e. both the Chinese employment, plus the temporary U.S. employment. The only permanent jobs created from such a project are the operations and maintenance jobs, and his numbers suggest that would be more like 150 for this size project. There is obviously a huge range here, and it is hard to predict.