Pursuit of Net-zero a $61B Opportunity in Alberta’s Cleantech Sector

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Calgary Economic Development Logo (CNW Group/Calgary Economic Development Ltd.)

Alberta Energy Transition Study forecasts cleantech could contribute $61 billion to GDP and create tens of thousands of jobs by 2050.

The global energy transition could create 170,000 jobs in the cleantech sector in Alberta and contribute $61 billion to GDP by 2050, concludes the Alberta Energy Transition Study conducted for Calgary Economic Development and Edmonton Global.

The study found that both Calgary and the Edmonton region are uniquely positioned to be leaders in a transition to a lower carbon economy with our growing cleantech ecosystem, world-class resources and infrastructure, a long history of industry collaboration and investment, and a deep pool of specialized talent.

The study – conducted by three organizations: Delphi Group, Foresight Canada and Cleantech Group – concluded to fully capitalize on the opportunity, Alberta will need to invest more than $2.1 billion a year in cleantech by 2030, increasing to $5.5 billion by 2040.

Alberta companies are leaders in cleantech investment in Canada, but the current level of investment is less than $1 billion annually. Without investment levels that are aligned with global commitments to net-zero, the study forecasts the cleantech sector would only generate 20,000 jobs and $4 billion in GDP by 2050.

The study identified six subsectors from the 16 across the cleantech ecosystem in the province that have the greatest potential to attract foreign direct investment, create quality jobs and help launch new companies:

  • Agtech and Agriculture,
  • Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage,
  • Digitalization,
  • Electrification,
  • Energy Efficiency,
  • Hydrogen Production and Utilization.

The Calgary-Edmonton Innovation Corridor is positioning the province as a leader in digital transformation. Calgary is rated as one of the Top 15 Cleantech ecosystems globally and Edmonton was ranked the fastest growing tech ecosystem in North America between 2015 and 2020. Ensuring we are a leader in energy transition is a focus of the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy and Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy.

Alberta is known as a location for people who want to use technology to solve global challenges and the Alberta Energy Transition Study showcases the opportunities for sustainable, long-term growth and quality jobs for future generations.

Of the 945 cleantech companies in Alberta, 462 are headquartered in Calgary and 429 in the Edmonton region. The sector employs more than 14,600 directly in cleantech roles with 137,000 people working in the broader cleantech ecosystem.

Among Alberta’s cleantech ventures, 51 per cent are led by first-time founders, 32 per cent have a trades background, 28 per cent are born outside Canada, and 22 per cent are female, versus 15.6 per cent nationally. 

Nearly two-thirds of Alberta’s more than 210 pureplay cleantech startups seek customers in the oil and gas sector; over 50 per cent in power and utilities, and one-third in agriculture, mining, or manufacturing.

The report and supporting documents are available through either the Calgary Economic Development or Edmonton Global website:


Calgary Economic Development is an opportunity-maker, helping to spark and fuel Calgary’s growth. Our job is to connect people with resources that can help them grow their careers or businesses, thrive in new locations or markets, and feel at home in our community. We offer a wealth of information to help everyone succeed and we tirelessly promote Calgary, in Canada and around the world. We’re exhilarated about our role in shaping and sharing Calgary’s story and we’re proud to be part of the energy. 

SOURCE Calgary Economic Development Ltd.

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