Hydro investment could create a million Canadian jobs, study finds

19 December 2011

The Job Creation and Economic Development Opportunities in the Canadian Hydropower Market study, conducted by The business school - HEC Montreal, says that the employment opportunities would occur in every region of the country, and would be full-time equivalents (FTEs) where each represents one person employed for one year.

Electricity generation projects already under consideration for 2011-2030 would create 776,000 FTEs for construction firms and their suppliers, which is the equivalent of 38,800 positions lasting 20 years. A further 224,000 induced FTEs are forecast to be created by increased spending by those directly or indirectly employed by the projects. "These results highlight what appears to be one of the best kept secrets of the Canadian energy sector," said CHA President and CEO Jacob Irving, "the multiple benefits of Canada's extraordinary hydropower potential."

The report's authors employed the commonly used Statistics Canada Input - Output Model of the Canadian economy to test various scenarios. The 158 potential projects that industry members identified for the study would require investment of $127.7B and would result in 29,060MW of both refurbished and new generation capacity. The model results predict that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be about $15B per year greater over the study period than it would have been otherwise, due to the construction of the capacity and its subsequent operation.

"The researchers call this the 'optimistic' scenario," said Irving, "but it's good to remember that it is limited to projects currently under some degree of active consideration. We're already the world's third largest hydropower generator. It's astonishing to think, big as we are, we have still vast clean and renewable undeveloped hydropower potential from coast to coast to coast"

While the employment totals are impressive, the study did not attempt to quantify employment created by investment in new and upgraded transmission and distribution capacity that would be necessary to handle the increased hydropower production. Moreover, these infrastructure expansions could also enable increased investment in other electricity projects, such as wind and solar generation. The impact on employment of this type of activity also fell outside the scope of the research.

For more information on the stud, please visit: http://www.canhydropower.org/hydro_e/p_what.htm

External weblinks

Canadian Hydropower Association

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