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Oil prices of more than $100 a barrel are driving a frenzy of green tech investment by tens of thousands of new companies, a significant number of which are based in Canada.

Green tech companies in Canada are growing fast – by over 50% a year, accelerated by huge natural resources, global demand for cleaner energy, and $1bn of government funding for innovation.

Within 5-8 years, the size of Canada’s green tech sector could overtake Aerospace and Defence. The province of Ontario alone has almost 3,000 green tech companies, generating $7bn a year in sales, and employing 65,000 people.

In October 2010, the Ontario Solar project began generating power, using one of the world’s largest photovoltaic facilities with 80 megawatts capacity.

Canada has major opportunities for innovation in the oil industry. Take for example oil sands extraction in Alberta, which will require extraction across up to 54,000 square miles of land over the next few years to meet global oil demand.   The largest energy companies are investing heavily to find ways to extract this huge carbon resource in more environmentally friendly ways.

Carbon capture and storage is still a relatively unproven process, but is attracting significant global investment. The UN’s International Energy Agency estimates that Canada has sites that could safely store up to 1,300 billion tonnes of CO2.

Green tech innovation in many countries is a story of small startups and entrepreneurs with vision – and Canada is no exception.

Over half of all green tech companies in Western Canada employ fewer than 10 people, with turnover of less than $500,000 a year.  Most of these companies expect to grow fast, with new products and services to be launched in the next 2-3 years, and most green tech revenues in the region are from exports.

One of the greatest “green” resources for Canada is forest – 420 million hectares, 10% of all forest in the world.  In 2010, Canada formalized the Boreal Forest Agreement, protecting 72 million hectares of public forests - an area twice the size of Germany.   Expect many innovations in forest management and in manufacturing of pulp, paper, cardboard as well as other wood-based products.

Patrick Dixon is co-author of SustainAgility – book.

More Patrick Dixon videos, presentations and further reading on these issues:

True Cost of Global Warming
How business will help solve
global warming with green technology
CARBON DIET to save the World

Global Warming - Science Summary

Future of Oil Prices: Middle East, global economy

Roof Gardens Impact on Energy Saving

Biofuels Controversy and Climate Change

Iceland Volcano Eruption - Geothermal Power Potential

Energy Use Consulting - Boom Industry

Smart Power Regulation - Energy Saving

Green Technology Innovation Awards Chaired by Patrick Dixon

Product Exchanges and Climate Change

Wind Turbines and Global Warming

Solar Cell Roofing and Climate Change
Low Energy Streetlights and Global Warming

Polymer Cement - to save 2% global CO2

Carbon Capture - Climate Change Business

Future of Oil Industry
when will oil run out? Kuwait and region
Heat Pumps - to prevent global warming

Cost of
global warming - practical answers
The $40 trillion
climate change business
Impact of Global Warming on Human Life

The Future of the Environment

Green Technologies
innovation will help with climate change
climate change and crazy biofuels policy
innovation will help save world. Sustainable business future
Sustainable business: $40 trillion
green tech boom will help save world
How Green IT saves money and energy, improves image and
environment - keynote
Water Wars Risk?
Futurist Q&A with Patrick Dixon
Global Warming:
green technology will help world
Economic Growth Limits?
Sustainability. FUTURIST Q&A

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