SASKATOON – A Saskatoon clean technology business owner says he’s experiencing growth in the sector, despite a recent report indicating a decrease in national revenues for the first time in six years.
“Business is great, it’s never been better for us quite honestly,” said Kevin Bergeron, co-owner and president of MiEnergy, a solar and geothermal power company in Saskatoon.
“By the end of this year, we should be operating in all of the western provinces.”
It’s a stark contrast to news out of Ottawa Tuesday; an Analytica Advisors report found clean tech revenues were down nationally from $11.7 billion in 2013 to $11.63 billion in 2014. It was the first decrease after six years of growth.
“This report underlines the urgency of taking action to reverse this trajectory and get back to the growth of previous years,” said Celine Bak, Analytica’s president.
However Saskatchewan could help re-charge the sector, according to Martin Boucher, a University of Saskatchewan sustainability researcher. He said there is room for private-sector growth in the province.
“We have all of this innovation potential,” said Boucher, who is working towards his doctorate degree.
“Natural resources in terms of kind of solar, wind, things like that.”
Bergeron and MiEnergy are taking advantage of the province’s renewable resources. They install solar and geothermal systems that power buildings. Bergeron said helping the sector grow is about more than making a profit.
It’s a way of thinking that was on display across the city Tuesday, at a grade school sustainable project showcase. More than 300 children showed off green-friendly projects, including 12-year-old Blessie Cariño. Her group put together a plan to fertilize her school’s garden with a compost program.
“I am a very eco-friendly person and I try to reduce as much waste as I can,” she said.
It’s an early mindset that could lead the country’s clean technology sector in future years, if it powers back up.