New map shows clean energy jobs across British ColumbiaInteractive map allows users to explore over 14,000 jobs from renewable energy projects across B.C.

April 24, 2015

VANCOUVER — The Pembina Institute’s new interactive B.C. Clean Energy Jobs Map quantifies the number of jobs in the clean energy sector and pinpoints where renewable energy projects are located in the province.

British Columbia has one of the most robust clean energy sectors in Canada, employing people in the province’s largest cities to its most remote communities, including many First Nations. In fact, on a per capita basis the highest concentration of jobs are found in the Northeast — a region that typically struggles with a lack of diverse employment opportunities and boom-and-bust economic cycles.

In total, 156 renewable energy projects exist in B.C., 15 per cent of which are currently under construction. Projects include wind and solar power, run-of-river hydro, large hydro, biomass and biogas.

Despite the numerous benefits offered by the clean energy economy, including its significant export potential and multi-sectorial support — including industry, First Nations, labour and environmental groups — this sector is often overlooked as an economic driver relative to fossil fuel industries in the province.

And renewable energy is only part of the bigger clean energy economy picture. The clean energy economy is the collection of all economic sectors that are directly responsible for supplying technologies, products and services that have measurable environmental benefits in terms of their abilities to reduce carbon pollution and improve energy efficiency.

At a time when the world is looking for ways to swiftly reduce carbon pollution, the market for clean energy technology and energy efficiency products and services is rapidly expanding. With the right policy drivers, B.C. could develop a world-class clean energy economy that would help the province meet its carbon-pollution reduction targets and diversify its exports toward technologies and services that are in increasingly high demand. The map offers the first look at where clean energy jobs are located in B.C.

The first phase of the map looks at renewable electricity. Forthcoming phases will examine B.C.’s entire clean energy economy, including jobs associated with energy efficiency, green buildings and clean transportation technologies and services.

The B.C. Government and Services Employees’ Union, City of Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation through the Greenest City Fund, Green Jobs BC, North Growth Foundation, Pembina Foundation and TIDES Canada provided funding for this project.

Quotes

 “Clean energy is a real success story, employing thousands of British Columbians in communities across the province. Smart, targeted policies will help generate even more of these family-supporting, career-track jobs across British Columbia. The future economic health of our province depends on a strategy that will put more dots on this map.”

—   Aaron Ekman, Secretary-Treasurer B.C. Federation of Labour

“The Clean Energy Jobs map that the Pembina Institute put together is a clear illustration of the jobs that are created by clean energy projects. In First Nations communities, these long-term and meaningful jobs are needed. Clean Energy projects, especially those that have First Nations as partners, provide revenue to the B.C. economy in many regions of the province. The B.C. government must pursue greater opportunities for First Nations in clean energy as these projects provide many jobs and other benefits to them. They are also fully supported by First Nations due to their low environmental impact.”

—   Dr. Judith Sayers, Strategic Adviser, Hupacasath First Nation

“Good well-paying clean energy jobs are situated in all parts of B.C., from its biggest cities to its most remote communities. The map gives a glimpse of a future in which all of us are working together: First Nations, local communities, private and public sectors — all of B.C.’s communities coming together to come up with resilient energy solutions that just makes sense. There is a lot more we can develop. There are a lot more clean energy jobs to create.”

—   Paul Kariya, Executive Director, Clean Energy B.C.

“As the world’s economies look to rapidly reduce carbon pollution, we want to make sure B.C. is well positioned to remain competitive. Policies that support the development of our clean energy economy will help to future-proof B.C. and enable us to thrive in a low-carbon world.”

—   Penelope Comette, Program Director, Clean Energy Economy, Pembina Institute

Quick facts

  • In 2014, renewable energy projects alone employed 14,100 people, 7,700 of which are direct jobs
  • Large hydro provides the most jobs (5,800) from renewable energy in B.C., followed by biomass and biogas (4,400), run-of-river hydro (2,600) and wind and solar (1,300)
  • Policies like B.C.’s carbon tax and clean energy requirement have helped make the business case for investments in clean energy in the province
  • B.C.’s commitment to Climate Action Plan 2.0 provides an opportunity to strengthen climate policies and implement new ones to develop B.C.’s clean energy sector

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Visit the Pembina Institute’s interactive B.C. Clean Energy Jobs Map: www.pembina.org/bcjobsmap

Join the conversation on Twitter with #BCJobsMap

Contact

Aaron Ekman
Secretary-Treasurer, B.C. Federation of Labour
604-430-1421

Dr. Judith Sayers
Strategic Advisor, Hupacasath First Nation
250-415-0387

Kevin Sauve
Communications Lead, Pembina Institute
604-354-2628

Paul Kariya  
Executive Director, Clean Energy BC
604-818-1827

Background

Blog: Bigger isn’t always better: smaller energy projects offer big economic benefits  

Report: Competing in Clean Energy: Capitalizing on Canadian innovation in a $3 trillion economy

Poll: British Columbians views on climate change and clean energy

Blog: Climate action can support a strong economy in B.C.

Backgrounder: The B.C. Carbon Tax

Op-ed: LNG isn’t B.C.’s only economic option

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