If you’ve heard the phrases energy and Western Canada in the identical breath of late, odds are the story was about fossil fuels. Maybe it was about job losses, the worth of oil, or a pipeline.
It’s a phenomenon British Columbians know properly: In our nationwide conversations, B.C.’s financial system is overshadowed by Alberta’s. And that’s very true relating to energy.
But what is most exceptional is what’s misplaced in this — the truth that B.C. has an incredible story to inform. More particularly, an incredible clear energy story.
World markets are present process one of many biggest transformations of all time, shifting from fossil fuels to scrub energy. As Mad Money’s Jim Cramer lately put it, fossil fuels are the brand new tobacco. Every week earlier, Tesla had skyrocketed to change into the second Most worthy automotive firm in the world. (Cramer has additionally modified his tune on Tesla — he’s now a fan.)
And the place is B.C. positioned in this altering world?
In a successful place.
Just final month, the Global Cleantech 100 introduced its annual record of probably the most promising cleantech corporations in the world. Canada had a formidable exhibiting: 12 corporations on the record of 100, second solely to the U.S. Half of these corporations had been from B.C. — a province with 13 per cent of Canada’s whole inhabitants was residence to 50 per cent of its winners on the record.
That’s no anomaly. Year after 12 months, B.C. dominates the record.
After all, this is the province that is residence to Burnaby-based General Fusion, a pacesetter in the race to fusion energy (one backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos). General Fusion simply scored a whopping $65 million in new funding from a world funding firm.
This is the province that is residence to Richmond-based Corvus Energy, a pacesetter in supplying electrical ferries with batteries and charging technology. Not solely is B.C. Ferries a shopper, Corvus’s tech has made its approach into Ontario and Europe.
This is the province that is residence to Ballard Power, a pacesetter in zero-emission gasoline cells. Many British Columbians know that Ballard has had a protracted and rocky street, however its inventory value has roughly tripled during the last 12 months, thanks in half to China’s urge for food for electrical automobile tech.
This is the province that’s residence to Penticton-based Structurlam, whose engineered mass timber will maintain up Walmart’s new headquarters in Arkansas. Structurlam is North America’s main mass timber maker, and B.C. is a pacesetter in constructing taller, energy-saving wooden towers. The province sees engineered wooden as a technique to enhance B.C.’s forestry sector, growing its worth as an answer to restricted provide. Last 12 months, B.C. grew to become the primary province in Canada to permit mass timber towers as much as 12 storeys.
And forestry isn’t the one pure useful resource benefiting from the energy transition. It takes metals and minerals to construct wind generators and electrical automobiles. B.C. is not solely a world mining hub, it’s residence to 14 of the 19 metals and minerals wanted to make a solar panel.
B.C. is additionally the one province in Canada the place these electrical automobiles have reached double-digit gross sales: 10 per cent of all automotive gross sales as of final fall — all powered by the province’s nearly fully renewable electrical grid.
Indeed, B.C. has a protracted historical past of taking part in it clear, having launched North America’s first value on air pollution over a decade in the past — a coverage that quietly helped shift its financial system to the cleaner one it has immediately, and the even cleaner one it’ll have tomorrow.
As of 2017, 32,000 British Columbians had been employed in the clear energy sector, and that quantity doesn’t embrace the numerous industries benefiting from it. Better information nonetheless, the sector is quickly rising and poised for continued success.
You need a great energy story about Western Canada?
Take a take a look at B.C.
This submit was co-authored by Dan Woynillowicz and initially appeared in the Vancouver Sun.