British Columbia's thriving technology sector boasts a broad array of companies and innovation.
B.C. stands at the forefront of Canada’s growing cleantech industry, one of five subsectors represented in our #BCTECH Strategy.
Clean technology is a quickly expanding sub sector, crossing over into many traditional industries and creating more efficient, effective and sustainable practices.
A fast-growing tech sub-sector:
- B.C.’s cleantech cluster accounts for 25% to 30% of Canada’s cleantech companies. [Source: BC Cleantech 2016 Status Report by KPMG]
- There are 273 cleantech companies in B.C., producing an expected $2.9 billion in revenue in 2017. [Source: BC Cleantech 2016 Status Report by KPMG]
- Employment growth is high with the number of B.C.-based employees up 35% to more than 8,500. [Source: BC Cleantech 2016 Status Report by KPMG]
- The global market for clean technology and services is expected to grow to $3 trillion by 2020. [Source: 2011 Canadian Clean Tech Industry Report by Analytica-Advisors]
- Technology segments in B.C. include:
- Hydrogen and fuel cells
- Clean transportation
- Energy management and efficiency technologies
- Renewable energy technology
- Water and waste resource management technologies.
- Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, a BC Innovation Council partner and cleantech accelerator, helps advance B.C.’s growing cleantech industry.
- It works directly with industry to create solutions, through innovation, to ecological challenges.
- In March 2017 government announced a partnership with the Government of Canada to provide $40 million to spur the development and commercialization of new clean energy technologies in B.C.
- The Province and the federal government will each contribute $20 million for the program and will conduct a joint call over a three-year intake period to seek out clean energy projects and technologies that will mitigate or avoid provincial greenhouse gas emissions, including prototype deployment, field testing and commercial-scale demonstration projects.
- The provincial contribution comes from the Province’s ICE Fund. The federal contribution is provided through Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
- Since 2008, the ICE Fund has committed approximately $97 million to support pre-commercial clean energy technology projects, clean energy vehicles, research and development, and various energy efficiency programs.
- Successful ICE Fund partnerships have included universities, First Nations, municipalities and many emerging clean energy tech companies throughout British Columbia. Technology demonstrations have included bioenergy, solar, ocean tidal, geo-exchange, desalination, energy management, smart grid and waste-to-energy.
- The Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund is a legislated Special Account established in 2007 and receives funding through a 0.4% levy on the final sale of specified energy products: natural gas, fuel oil and grid-delivered propane.
- Sustainable Development Canada announced funding of $27 million to 10 B.C. clean tech companies or demonstration projects in 2015.
- Funding will help build large-scale green tech initiatives such as:
- Tech that takes carbon dioxide from the air for use in enhanced oil recovery.
- Zinc-based fuel cell for industrial-scale renewable energy storage.
- Technology for steam assisted drainage extraction in the Alberta oil sands.
- Enhancements have been made to tax credits specifically targeted to grow the tech sector.
- The Province and the federal government have each invested $45 million, along with other investments from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and private donors for a $126 million, new energy systems engineering building at SFU Surrey.
- The building will accommodate proposed new degree programs in energy systems and environmental engineering as well as support mechatronics student spaces with 515 full-time-equivalent student spaces.
- Provincial funding of $150,000 from the Innovative Clean Energy Fund to West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI) at the University of Victoria is supporting research into the potential of ocean waves to generate clean, renewable and affordable electricity.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG):
- Cleantech aids the LNG industry by fostering innovative approaches to managing natural gas sector emissions.
- The Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act includes the ability to set a greenhouse gas emissions intensity benchmark for regulated industries, including LNG facilities, making them the cleanest in the world.
- This benchmark can be met using flexible options that act as incentives to invest in emission reduction projects for natural gas and other sectors around the province.
- Options can include purchasing offsets or paying a set price per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions that would be dedicated to a technology fund.
- This fund supports the development and innovation of clean technologies, creating significant potential to reduce B.C.’s emissions in the long term.
- This will drive investment in B.C.-based offset projects, including forest management, natural gas vehicles, community energy systems, industrial energy efficiency and waste management projects.
Joanne WhittierMinistry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services