British Columbia’s top alternative energy companies grew an average of 14.3% in 2020 compared with 2019, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Alternative Energy Companies in B.C. list (page 13).
Over the past five years companies on the list went from having an average of 86.6 employees in 2006 to 119.9 in 2020, a 38.4% increase.
Despite the high growth in the average number of people employed by the companies on the list, their median employee growth was zero, with a majority of smaller companies lower on the list seeing no growth over the past year.
No. 4 Greenlight Innovation Corp. recorded the largest employee increase. Its staff numbers jumped 300% to 200 employees in 2020 from 50 in 2019.
Greenlight also had the largest five-year employee increase among the top five companies, growing 900% from just 20 people in 2016.
In terms of raw numbers, No. 1 Ballard Power recorded the largest five-year increase in employees. Its staff grew by 290 to 565 in 2020 from 275 in 2016.
No. 2 Schneider Electric Canada had the largest employment decline in the top five over the past year, falling 40% to 450 employees in 2020 from 750 in 2019.
Schneider Electric had been B.C.’s largest alternative energy company before being overtaken by Ballard Power this year.
No. 19 Sterling PBES Energy Solutions Ltd. suffered the largest overall employee decline on BIV’s list. Its number of staff dropped 44.4% to 15 employees in 2020 from 27 in 2019.
No. 3 Westport Fuel Systems Inc. managed to stop its previous contraction.
Its employee count had fallen in 2017 and 2018.
But in 2019, Westport Fuel, for the first time in five years, increased its employee base.
The company’s staff grew 28.9% to 250 in 2020 from 194 in 2019 after falling 37% between 2016 and 2019.
However, despite that growth, Westport has yet to return to its 2016 high of 308 employees. •