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William V. Liuzza
November 1, 2022
Last week I was in Toronto for my first Electricity Transformation Canada (ETC). For those who are unfamiliar with the Canadian market, the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) was established in 2020 when the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) merged with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and is the host of the ETC. The inaugural ETC event was scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed by the pandemic, and then I sat out the 2021 event. The 2022 ETC gathering was the first event in partnership with the RE+ brand for promotion. While it is smaller in scale to last month’s RE+ event in Anaheim, it was well attended and busy.
As in the US, the Canadian markets have experienced hiccups along the way. The solar industry hasn’t fully recovered from the ending of the Ontario feed-in-tariff, but there’s renewed optimism. The Government of Ontario has released a procurement tender of 1.5GW for energy storage projects within the province and the Government of Alberta has created Alberta Clean Electricity to help achieve the goal of 30% renewable energy generation by 2030. In addition, the federal government has issued a National Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) program. These tradable commodities can be sold (one REC for every megawatt hour created) by the generators. All this positive news helped make the 2022 ETC Conference full of optimism!
While the scale differs with the US market, the same industry problems exist in Canada. In talking with one manufacturer at ETC, megawatts of their rooftop projects in Canada were derailed as a result of a single mounting screw that had been held up in supply chain purgatory. But the biggest issue the Canadian industry currently faces is talent acquisition. On Thursday, along with 500 other industry professionals, I joined the plenary luncheon titled Canada’s Workforce for the Electricity System of the Future, moderated by Liberty Power’s Ian MacRobbie. So obviously ours is a major topic given its platform at ETC! The talk focused on problems the industry confronts in speedily hiring the right talent in a fast-growing industry in a tight job market. The diverse group of panelists offered creative solutions including immigration, cross-training non-industry professionals, and early education. In walking the expo floor, I heard most companies echo the challenges in achieving their hiring goals. EnergeiaWorks is a clean energy recruitment leader in the US and Canada, so we welcome you to reach out to us to discuss your recruitment strategy at this tough time.
I’m excited to have been invited to the Canadian Consulate in New York City on November 2 to speak with the ClimateTech group within the Canadian Technology Accelerator program. This federally-funded program helps cleantech start-ups navigate the sometimes-overwhelming US landscape. I’ll be sharing my knowledge of the US employment market to help these start-ups fast track building a US-based team. The last two years of the US employment market have been the most complex that I’ve seen in my 22-year recruiting career, and I’ll do my best to help these select companies navigate a new market with unprecedented market conditions.
If you are currently exploring a new job in your renewable energy career, we invite you to have a look at our careers portal. If you’re looking to hire top talent in manufacturing, project development, finance, construction, operations, or energy asset management professionals, reach out to us today.