LASER TALK: A Clear Market Signal Needed to Create Clean Tech Jobs

LASER TALK: A Clear Market Signal Needed to Create Clean Tech Jobs

Numerous studies have shown that a shift to an economy based on renewable energy will result in a significant net gain in employment. An increasing number of clean energy jobs are created each year as investment in this sector have ramped up quickly in the last decade – at a time when well paid, full time jobs are hard to find,

  • Canada currently has more direct jobs in clean energy than in the oil sands – 50,000 people were employed directly in more than 800 clean technology firms – on par with the aerospace industry. [1] [2]
  • According to Dr. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, transitioning to 100% renewable energy would create 293,000 construction and 463,000 full-time operation jobs over 40 year.[3][4]
  • In 2015 Canadian clean tech industry revenues grew at four times the rate of the overall Canadian economy, and consistently providing employment that is high skill and high wage.[2] Alberta is poised to create a substantial number of clean tech jobs as the province transitions electricity off coal – and could create 70,000 new jobs by 2024, easily offsetting the 65,000 jobs recently lost with the drop in the price of oil.[4]
  • If the current pace of postings hold, solar would become the largest market for energy jobs by the fourth quarter of 2016.[5]
    The bad news is that Canada’s global share of international clean tech has been steadily declining by since 2008, and our global ranking fell from 14th to 19th.[2]

    We can turn this around through steadily rising carbon fees and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.  After BC introduced its carbon tax, there was a 48% increase in clean tech sales. During this transition to a greener economy, jobs will be lost in the fossil fuel industry. Plans to support employment transition are essential, but the scope of that work is manageable. In Canada 96% of the workforce is outside of fossil fuel industries. Within the fossil fuel sector, efforts are already underway to transition, for example, training oil sands electricians to install solar panels.[6]

[1]  Dan Woynillowicz, “Behind the numbers: our oil sands and clean energy job comparison” Dec. 2014 http://cleanenergycanada.org/comparing-oil-sands-employment-clean-energy-jobs/

[2] Analytica Advisors. “2015 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report” http://www.analytica-advisors.com/assets/file/2015%20Report%20Synopsis%20Final_wcovers.pdf

[3] The Solutions Project, Canada http://thesolutionsproject.org/

[4] Daniel León Rodríguez, “Solar industry says 70,000 jobs knocking on Alberta’s door”, National Observer, March 2016 http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/03/28/news/solar-industry-says-70000-jobs-knocking-albertas-door

[5] Jonathan Chew “There  Will Be More New Jobs in Solar Than Oil by the End of the Year” April 2016 , Fortune Magazine http://fortune.com/2016/04/20/solar-oil-jobs-indeed/

[6] Iron & Earth http://www.ironandearth.org/

(Updated by CCL Nelson-West Kootenay in May 2016).

 

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