An interactive map released Monday by the Pembina Institute creates a visual of B.C’s 14,000 jobs in clean energy.
The B.C. Clean Energy Jobs Map quantifies the number of jobs from 156 renewable energy projects including wind and solar power, run-of-river hydro, large hydro, biomass and biogas. Fifteen per cent of the projects are currently under construction. Large hydro provides the most jobs (5,800), followed by biomass and biogas (4,400), run-of-river hydro (2,600) and wind and solar (1,300).
“Clean energy is a real success story, employing thousands of British Columbians in communities across the province,” said Aaron Ekman, secretary-treasurer of the B.C. Federation of Labour. “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.”
“In First Nations communities, these long-term and meaningful jobs are needed,” said Judith Sayers, a strategic advisor to the Hupacasath First Nation, a leader in renewable energy.
On a per capita basis, the highest concentration of clean energy jobs are found in northeastern B.C., a region that is typically prone to the pain of boom-and-bust economic cycles.
“Good well-paying clean energy jobs are situated in all parts of B.C., from its biggest cities to its most remote communities,” said Paul Kariya, executive director of Clean Energy B.C. “The map gives a glimpse of a future in which all of us are working together … to come up with resilient energy solutions that just makes sense.”
In a press release, the Pembina Institute said the clean energy sector is often overlooked as an economic driver relative to fossil fuel industries in the province.
“As the world’s economies look to rapidly reduce carbon pollution, we want to make sure B.C. is well positioned to remain competitive,” said Penelope Comette, the director of Pembina’s clean energy economy program. “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.”
The clean energy jobs map is the first of many — other maps will examine B.C.’s entire clean energy economy, including jobs associated with energy efficiency, green buildings and clean transportation technologies and services.