Canadian Manufacturing

Pursuit of net-zero a $61B opportunity in Alberta’s cleantech sector

Calgary Economic Development Ltd. stated that Alberta will need to invest more than $2.1 billion a year in cleantech by 2030, increasing to $5.5 billion by 2040.

December 7, 2021  by CM Staff

CALGARY— The global energy transition could create 170,000 jobs in the cleantech sector in Alberta and contribute $61 billion to GDP by 2050, according to the Alberta Energy Transition Study conducted for Calgary Economic Development and Edmonton Global.

Results from the study show that both Calgary and the Edmonton region are positioned to be leaders in a transition to a lower carbon economy with the growing cleantech ecosystem, resources and infrastructure and a history of industry collaboration and investment.

Delphi Group, Foresight Canada and Cleantech Group  conducted the study and concluded to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Calgary Economic Development Ltd. stated that Alberta will need to invest more than $2.1 billion a year in cleantech by 2030, increasing to $5.5 billion by 2040.

Calgary Economic Development Logo (CNW Group/Calgary Economic Development Ltd.)

According to a statement from Calgary Economic Development Ltd., the current level of investment is less than $1 billion annually. Without investment levels that are aligned with global commitments to net-zero, the study forecasts the cleantech sector would only generate 20,000 jobs and $4 billion in GDP by 2050.

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The study identified six subsectors from the 16 across the cleantech ecosystem in the province that have the greatest potential to attract foreign direct investment, create quality jobs and help launch new companies in several areas including Agtech and Agriculture, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, Digitalization, Electrification, Energy Efficiency, Hydrogen Production and Utilization.

According to a statement from CED Ltd, of the 945 cleantech companies in Alberta, 462 are headquartered in Calgary and 429 in the Edmonton region. The sector employs more than 14,600 directly in cleantech roles with 137,000 people working in the broader cleantech ecosystem.

Edmonton Global Logo (CNW Group/Calgary Economic Development Ltd.)

The study also found that among Alberta’s cleantech ventures, 51 per cent are led by first-time founders, 32 per cent have a trades background, 28 per cent are born outside Canada, and 22 per cent are female, versus 15.6 per cent nationally.

Nearly two-thirds of Alberta’s more than 210 pureplay cleantech startups seek customers in the oil and gas sector; over 50 per cent in power and utilities, and one-third in agriculture, mining, or manufacturing.

“As the heart of Canada’s energy sector and home to the biggest concentration of Alberta’s cleantech companies, Calgary is positioned to be a leader in the race to net-zero. With the commitment from key industry players, we are poised to create jobs, grow the economy and protect the environment,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek in a statement.


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