Revenue climbs in B.C. cleantech, but wages falling behind: report

Carbon Engineering staff on site at the company's working pilot plant in Squamish. The B.C. company specializes in technology that captures carbon from the atmosphere | submitted

What happened: West Coast cleantech industry forecasts revenue to reach $3.5b

Why it matters: Revenue growth in the nascent sector could top more than $1.1b in a single year

While delegates wrap up talks at the sustainability-centric Globe Forum in downtown Vancouver this week, a new report reveals the exact dollar amount the cleantech industry is worth to B.C.

Revenue climbed $600 million to $2.4 billion from 2016-18, according to estimates from a February 12 study from KPMG Canada.

Once all the numbers are crunched for 2019, the report pegs last year’s revenue jumping more than a $1 billion to $3.5 billion.

“Continuing the trend from the 2016 status report, we see a decreasing dependency on the domestic markets for revenue and increased reliance on the U.S., Europe and Asia. The respondents forecast that this trend will continue over the next three to five years, albeit with increased attention on markets south of the border and overseas,” the report stated.

Investment has also been moving skyward, going from $4.25 billion to $7.11 billion from 2016-18.

Among the 92 participants surveyed, 18% reported raising $10 million or more in equity in the last two years compared with 9% in the 2016 report.

Average wages, however, were on the decline, falling from $84,000 in 2016 to $82,000 in 2018 as the workforce grew from 8,560 employees to 9,604 employees during that period.

The report was completed in partnership with the B.C. Cleantech CEO Alliance and featured 92 survey participants compared with 90 from 2016.