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Exports key to growth of Canadian cleantech sector, report says

Canada’s cleantech sector will become a $28-billion industry by 2022, employing more than 75,000 people, a new industry report predicts. 

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March 17, 2014 by Hazmat Management

Canada’s cleantech sector will become a $28-billion industry by 2022, employing more than 75,000 people, a new industry report predicts. 

Analytica Advisors’ Canadian Clean Technology Report for 2014 suggests that international exports may lead the way in getting Canada to that $28-billion number. Already, three quarters of clean technology companies are exporting, the report states, and close to 90 per cent expect to export in 2015. 

“Twenty-two percent of industry revenues are already from exports markets other than the U.S.,” said Céline Bak, president of Analytica Advisors, in a March 6, 2014 statement released with the new annual report. “Yet this dynamic industry remains one of Canada’s best kept secrets,” Bak added.

In 2012, Canadian cleantech companies generated $5.8 billion in exports.

Currently, Canada’s cleantech industry is estimated to be worth more than $11 billion, employing more than 52,000 people across some 700 cleantech companies, the report states. These companies span more than 10 sectors, ranging from energy, water and agriculture, to performance improvements for air and land use.

Montreal-based biofuel company, Enerkem, is one of the cleantech companies detailed in the Analytica Advisors’ report. Vincent Chornet, president and CEO of Enerkem, said his company has seen tremendous growth in recent years.

“We are proud to be part of such a booming industry,” said Chornet in a statement released with the cleantech 2014 report. “For us at Enerkem, it means a doubled workforce in the last four years and a game-changing waste-to-biofuels facility built in partnership with the City of Edmonton that should generate $65 million in net economic spending each year. This is how it translates in our economy,” he added.

The report states that jobs within Canada’s cleantech industry grew at a rate of six per cent from 2010 to 2012, some 200 per cent faster than the national average.

One of the report’s other key findings was the age of people employed in Canada’s cleantech sector. Twenty per cent of the cleantech industry’s workforce is comprised of Canadians aged 30 years or younger.

“Canadian companies are bringing solutions to some of the world’s most technically demanding problems and young people are seeing an opportunity to build their careers here for the long-term benefit of our economy and the environment,” Bak said.

The report found that Canadian cleantech companies contributed more than $1 billion in research and development in 2012, and $5 billion from 2008-2012.