Builders' Almanac 2021

Forecast 3: Cleantech

What will Canadian Cleantech Look Like in 2021?

Harvest Builders Staff

Trends, recommendations and forecasts for Cleantech in 2021



Cleantech is a trillion-dollar global industry, and it’s expected to surpass $2.5 trillion by 2022. Today, Canada is a global leader in cleantech innovation and commercialization, ranking number 1 and number 16, respectively. There are opportunities for Canada to go further; the global export market for cleantech products and services is $1.15 trillion. There is a massive opportunity for Canada to become a global market leader. One of the biggest challenges is that while Canada has an impressive talent for developing cleantech, it lags behind other countries when it comes to commercializing cleantech and bringing it to market. 



  1. Focus on streamlining downstream processes. After a VC-funded cleantech bubble between 2006 and 2011, VCs have shied away from the high capital costs and low ROI of the industry. The cooling period is ending. Today, private capital is turning its attention back to cleantech, but this time it’s shifting its focus from hardware intensive, deep technology investments to downstream tools that simplify clean energy processes and data management. 
  2. Build relationships with incumbents. Energy industry incumbents offer the best market and support for disruptive clean energy companies. They become these startups’ first customers by helping them streamline their current business practices. Developing a relationship with incumbents can also serve as an attractive feature to investors who want to know there are potential companies interested in acquiring the startup. 

Watch out for

Companies that quantify the data needed to ensure carbon trading and inform future innovations in deep technology. Radicle Balance in Alberta offers one of the world’s first software platforms to measure, qualify, and aggregate greenhouse gas emissions. Companies like this will serve as the foundation for future commercialization of Canada’s cleantech innovations. 

Harvest Builders Staff
Forecast 4: Agtech
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