New map shows clean energy jobs across British Columbia

By Pembina Institute | April 30, 2015

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.