Working in renewables like solar power, wind, hydropower, and geothermal offers the opportunity to engage in a developing sector and contribute to environmental sustainability.

Renewable Energy is Important for Canada’s Entire Energy Industry

Renewable energy is derived from sources or processes that can be renewed at the same rate or faster than they are consumed and do not deplete finite energy sources like oil or natural gas.

Renewables vs Non-renewables

Just as there are many forms of renewable energy, there are many ways to become part of Canada’s innovative and emerging renewable energy industry.


Hydropower uses moving water such as rivers, lakes and tidal movements to rotate turbines, generating electricity. Canada is the second-largest global producer of hydroelectricity, which represents almost 60 per cent of the country’s electricity generation. Hydropower is especially prominent in provinces like Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba, where rivers and lakes are abundant.

Hydropower’s lower greenhouse gas emissions and overall stability help Canada meet the country’s demand for electricity while minimizing environmental impact.

Solar energy

Solar energy is radiant light and heat emitted by the sun that is then harnessed and used for power like electricity.

Photovoltaic or solar PV: These are the common solar panels you see everywhere, from the top of your solar-powered garden lights and rooftop residential systems to large utility-scale solar farms feeding the grid.

Concentrated solar: Usually found in large-scale installations, mirrors and lenses concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a central collector.

Thermal solar: Water or other liquids flow through tubes to capture energy from the sun in the form of heat, which is then used to generate heat or electricity.

Wind energy

Wind energy works when wind turbine blades capture the wind’s kinetic energy and convert it to mechanical energy for electricity. This impressive form of renewable energy has many economic benefits.

Wind energy is now the lowest-cost source of new electricity generation in Canada. In the last decade, more wind-energy capacity was installed than any other form. There are over 300 land-based wind farms in the country providing renewable energy—and new jobs too.


Generated and stored in the earth, geothermal energy is harnessed by drilling geothermal wells and extracting high-temperature heat energy in the form of hot water or steam. A valuable renewable energy source, it’s used for both heat and electricity. As a baseload replacement energy source, it can fill gaps in demand, unlike intermittent sources like solar and wind.

Ideal natural conditions for geothermal production are primarily found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Canada does not currently produce commercial electricity from geothermal, but over a dozen companies—all in different stages of development—are targeting geothermal in Canada.

Thinking about crossing over to a career in geothermal?

The similarities between geothermal and the oil and natural gas industries mean certain skills and experience are highly transferable to this emerging sector.

Working in renewables

Interest and investment in renewables are growing and so is the need for skilled workers. Working in renewables offers the opportunity to work in rural communities, engage in developing sector and contribute to environmental sustainability.

Day in the Life

Keith Hirsche President and Founder, RenuWell Energy Solutions Inc.

With more than 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry, Keith was looking to be part of the bigger energy ecosystem. He started the RenuWell Project, which uses abandoned wells and oil and gas infrastructure as brownfield sites for solar, wind and geothermal development.

Read Keith's story

“Don’t be afraid of change… In my experience, it always works out better in the end.”