Renewables on the rise: Green jobs outnumber tar sand workers


Can you feel that tide shifting?

Big news from the folks at Clean Energy Canada this week: a new report shows that Canada has more people working in the green energy sector than it does in the tar sands.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on that. Jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency have grown so quickly and become so important to Canadians that more people are now working in the field than in Alberta’s tar sands.

How’s that for momentum? What was once a boutique industry has become big business in this country.

TERCanada-Cover-600The report – Tracking the Energy Revolution – showed nearly $25-billion has been invested in Canada’s clean-energy sector over the past five years, a figure nearly equal to the combined investments in forestry, fishing and agriculture.

The result is an incredibly fast-growing sector, with green employment up 37 per cent across the country, meaning 23,700 Canadians are now working in the sector compared to the 22,340 directly employed by the tar sands.

Worldwide, 6.5-million people – and counting – work in green jobs.

And other findings from the report are just as exciting:

  • Wind, solar, run-of-river hydro, and biomass capacity have nearly doubled in the past five years (expanded by 93 per cent).
  • Canada hit a record high in 2013, putting up one new windmill every 10 hours.
  • Last year, Canada jumped from 12th place to 7th place in the G20 for clean energy investment.
  • Electric vehicle sales doubled between 2012 and 2013 thanks to growing selection, incentives and the spread of public-charging networks.

We can’t even begin to express how jazzed we are about all this. The momentum behind clean energy and green jobs shows us that positive change is coming, and, in many cases across Canada, is already well on its way.

EnergyEfficiencyThe report credited the governments of Ontario, Quebec and B.C. for leading the country on green job creation. Here in New Brunswick, with our new provincial government reintroducing energy efficiency programs and pledging that “safety and sustainability must constantly guide efforts,” we’re looking forward to seeing more New Brunswickers employed in this fast-growing, forward-thinking field.

Part of our Renewable Solutions NB Project