Released on May 23, Missing the Bigger Picture: Tracking the Energy Revolution 2019 summarizes research commissioned by Clean Energy Canada and conducted by Navius Research. The report emphasizes the healthy growth of Canada’s clean energy sector – which employed 298,000 people in 2017, representing 2% of Canadian employment. Between 2010 and 2017, the number of clean energy jobs grew by 2.2% a year, economic value grew by 4.8% per year (compared to 3.6% for the economy as a whole), and investment in the sector went up by 70%. The 15-page report calls the clean energy sector “the mountain in our midst”, emphasizing that it includes many industries, all provinces, and defining it broadly as “companies and jobs that help to reduce carbon pollution— whether by creating clean energy, helping move it, reducing energy consumption, or making low-carbon technologies.” The findings report includes “sector spotlights” for: electric vehicles, batteries and energy storage, wind power, and building control and HVAC systems.
The accompanying, 118-page report by Navius Consulting explains the methodology and presents the details of employment, economic value, and investment. Quantifying Canada’s Clean Energy Economy: An assessment of clean energy investment, value added and jobs ranks “Clean transport” as the largest employer, with 171,000 jobs in 2017 – 111,000 of those in transit. Jobs in renewable and alternative energy supply grew from 54,000 to 60,000 between 2010 and 2017. The report also states that the clean buildings sector employed only 19,000 people in 2017, mostly in green architecture and construction services.
Definitions are clearly important to this issue. The Navius technical report provides details about its definitions and methodology, including the use of the gTech energy economy model. This will no doubt be required reading in order to compare these findings with those of Energy Efficiency Employment in Canada, the April report from Eco Canada, which estimated that Canada’s energy efficiency goods and services sector directly employed an estimated 436,000 permanent workers in 2018 (summarized by WCR here ).