A study on the economic impact of investing in Canada’s electricity infrastructure released today by the Conference Board of Canada confirms that investments in electricity generation, transmission and distribution will have a widespread positive impact on Canada’s economy and produce hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities across the country.
The analysis is titled Shedding Light on the Economic Impact of Investing in Electricity Infrastructure. “The report goes beyond asserting the important role of electricity in providing households with the conveniences of electrical power, and affirms that a modern and reliable electricity system is vital to Canada’s competitive advantage,” said CEA President and CEO, Jim Burpee. It also finds that federal and provincial governments can expect to accrue a sizeable benefit with increased annual revenue of $4.2 billion and $1.9 billion respectively.
After analyzing the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of $347.5 billion (in current dollars) of electricity investment from 2011 to 2030, the report concludes that for every $100 million (inflation adjusted) invested in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure, real GDP will be boosted by $85.6 million and 1,200 jobs will be created. In total, that is an average addition of $10.9 billion per year to real gross domestic product (GDP). With respect to employment, Canadians can expect future electricity investment to create an average of 156,000 jobs each year.
“To stimulate the economy today, and maintain our prosperity tomorrow, we must move ahead with renewing Canada’s electricity infrastructure,” added Mr. Burpee. “There is no doubt that the investment will contribute to the growth of the economy. A notable challenge that requires attention is the ability of the labour market to meet the demand for workers with the appropriate skills.”
The report suggests that investment is expected to peak between 2011 and 2015. This surge of investment will undoubtedly increase demand in many industries, including construction, manufacturing and service. Labour requirements resulting from investments during the peak period will spike to 247,000 jobs annually, putting additional pressure on an already tight labour market. Supply constraints may be encountered.
These findings are in keeping with other recent statements by organizations such as the Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank, which published a report called Knocking Down Barriers Faced By New Immigrants To Canada on February 7, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which released a national plan titled Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness on February 8. In addition, the Electricity Sector Council’s 2011 workforce planning report (released January 31) stated that “there is a severe skilled labour shortage and united action is needed to meet these unprecedented labour market challenges.” All of these reports highlight shared concerns about the labour deficiency in Canada.
Shedding Light on the Economic Impact of Investing in Electricity Infrastructure was produced to evaluate the economic impact of future investment in Canada’s electricity infrastructure.
To access the full report, click here.
To access the Conference Board of Canada’s news release, click here.
To access the Conference Board of Canada’s backgrounder, click here.
About the CEA (www.electricity.ca)
Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada every day. From vertically integrated electric utilities, to power marketers, to the manufacturers and suppliers of materials, technology and services that keep the industry running smoothly – all are represented by this national industry association.
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