If you're not aware of the cleantech boom you should be

Report shows strength in Quebec's cleantech industries

If you're not aware of the cleantech boom you should be
Steve Randall

It’s not one of the most prominent industries but a new report suggests that cleantech is on the rise in Quebec.

Cleantech drives many parts of the economy, from innovative food processes to sustainable natural resource management; it is driving energy efficiency in real estate, transportation, manufacturing and more.

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The report from EY reveals that the sector in Quebec generates over $1 billion in annual revenue, $300 million in research & development investments, and employs almost 9,000 people across 350 companies.

"Energy occupies a prominent position in the cleantech sector," says Patrick Bossé, EY partner and Québec Energy Sector Leader. "But growing public awareness of climate issues is putting more pressure on these businesses to explore opportunities for companies to rethink operations and reduce their environmental footprint. The abundance of qualified workers is helping cleantech companies achieve these ambitions."

Ideally placed for growth
The report highlights how Quebec has the talent for cleantech to grow with a skilled and diverse workforce, especially among the under 20s for whom the sector is appealing.

"In a context where governments have shown a clear willingness to go green, governments and institutional markets offer excellent growth opportunities for cleantech in the coming years," says Denis Leclerc, Écotech Québec President and CEO. "Québec has what it takes, including talent, to carve out a solid position in the green economy at home and abroad. There is no lack of fertile ground for innovative ways to meet the needs of both today and tomorrow."

So what’s the potential?
EY says that pure cleantech firms are confident of growth over the next two to three years; in fact they expect revenues to double; with the US accounting for a quarter of this growth.

For Quebec, things are positive but there are also challenges.

"Cleantech companies see access to funding, particularly for demonstration pilot projects, and access to markets as central to their main obstacles for growth. Funding needed to support growth could exceed $2 billion," says Bossé.