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Job Growth in Clean Energy: Employment in Alberta’s emerging renewables and energy efficiency sectors

By Binnu Jeyakumar - Pembina Institute, November 2016

Alberta has a meaningful plan to enable the growth of a clean energy industry, with commitment to 30% of electricity generated by renewable sources by 2030, and phasing out pollution from coal-fired generation. A portion of the anticipated revenues from the province’s economy-wide carbon levy will be used to enable these efforts. This provides a great opportunity for sustainable employment growth in the clean energy sector. This is in line with the global trends of declining investment and employment in the coal industry, while investment and employment in the renewable sector expands.

The Pembina Institute has conducted a n analysis of the employment potential in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in Alberta. Data was collected through literature reviews and from organizations involved in development of projects. The analysis used conservative estimates where there was uncertainty. The results are nevertheless encouraging and paint a positive picture for Albertans.

  • In Alberta, investing in renewable sources of electricity and energy efficiency alone would generate more jobs than those lost through the retirement of coal power.
  • With a high and sustained pace of renewables growth , there are sustained levels of employment for those engaged in related equipment installations.
  • Additional investment in community energy can increase the employment potential by 30-50%.
  • Long-term investments in modernizing infrastructure, the grid and our electricity system will result in further job creation with a wide diversity of skills, and in fields that are likely to see sustained growth.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.