Alternative energy firms expand during the pandemic 

ANALYSIS | Average employment at top companies in B.C. grew 19.8 per cent over the past year

British Columbia’s largest alternative energy companies have grown faster during the pandemic than during the years prior to its onset, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s list of the biggest alternative energy companies in B.C. (page 12). 

In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, average employment at the top alternative energy companies in the province grew 6.8 per cent, more than three times the 1.8 per cent growth rate reported the previous year. Employment growth then increased to 8.8 per cent in 2021. During the past year, employment growth for the top alternative energy companies was the largest it has been in at least the past five years. Average employment grew 19.8 per cent to 156.1 in 2022 from 130.4 in 2021. 

Over the five-year period, average employment grew 41.7 per cent. During that same period, median employment grew more than three times as much: 130.4 per cent to 91 in 2022 from 39.5 in 2018. This suggests that smaller companies lower on the list grew faster than larger companies higher on the list.

alt energy graphs

No. 1 Ballard Power Systems Inc. (TSX:BLDP) recorded the largest five-year growth among B.C.’s top five alternative energy companies. Its employment jumped 110.9 per cent to 932 employees in 2022 from 442 in 2018. 

Meanwhile, No. 2 Schneider Electric Canada Inc. had the largest five-year decline in employment amongst the top five: down 40 per cent to 450 in 2022 from 750 in 2018.