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Hydropower investment could create a million Canadian jobs

OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada, 12/19/11 (PennWell) -- A study commissioned by the Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) indicates that hydropower investment could produce more than one million Canadian jobs over the next 20 years from construction activities alone.

"These results highlight what appears to be one of the best kept secrets of the Canadian energy sector," said CHA President and CEO Jacob Irving.

The study, titled, "Creation and Economic Development Opportunities in the Canadian Hydropower Market", was conducted by business school HEC Montreal.

It examines FTEs, or "full-time equivalents", where each FTE represents one person employed for one year.

According to the report, electricity generation projects already under consideration would create 776,000 FTEs between 2011-2030 for construction firms and their suppliers - a number that is equivalent to 38,800 positions lasting 20 years.

A further 224,000 induced FTEs are forecast to be created by increased spending by those directly or indirectly employed by the projects, according to the study.

The report's authors used Statistics Canada's "Input-Output Model" to test various scenarios and their effects on the Canadian economy.

One such scenario found that the 158 potential hydroelectric projects identified by industry members for HEC Montreal's study amount to an investment of $127.7 billion, resulting in 29,060-MW worth of refurbished and new generation capacity.

"The researchers call this the 'optimistic' scenario," Irving said. "But it's good to remember that it is limited to projects currently under some degree of active consideration."


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