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Sunshine Sector: Job Opportunities in Solar The sector is waiting for you to set new rules, new business benchmarks, new success stories that will lead you to your career goal faster than any other industry now

By Biresh Ranjan Das

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Sustainable energy is the future for our world. In addition, when we are saying sustainable, we need to highlight solar here, because it has proven to be more reliable, feasible, and worldly accepted for mass adoption than its other counterparts. Global total installed solar capacity is more than 303 GW and it is expected to reach 400 GW of total capacity by the end of 2018. In 2017, China led the growth spectrum by adding 52 GW of new solar installations, while US (12.5 GW), India (~8 GW), Japan (5.8 GW), Germany (2.2 GW) took positions respectively.

Australia, South Korea, Chile, and Turkey also became GW solar markets in 2017 stepping into competition for solarisation. It is important to note that, India has an estimated renewable energy potential of about 900 GW from commercially exploitable sources, out of which 750 GW capacity can come from solar power, assuming if only 3per cent wasteland is made available.

India also has 124 GW of market potential in the rooftop solar sector. It is noted that even if only 1.3per cent of India's total households (total 248,408,494) are solarized with rooftop technology; more than 30per cent of that estimated energy capacity can be harnessed.

India's current installed solar capacity is ~22 GW. Which means India has more than a 6per cent share in the world's solar energy growth. And considering the Government support, worldwide acceptance, developing countries investing huge amounts of money (more than conventional energy) in renewable energy, and the world coming together for technology and resource exchange (International Solar Alliance), the future of renewable energy, especially solar, is bright in India.

Indian Job Sector Scenario

India is a growing country with a huge population (135 crore people in 2018) of working age (60 crore people- nearly half of its population under 25 years of age). However, the choices for quick growth in career through opportunities in (previously identified to be) safe sectors are scarce in India right now.

Recent IT job slump that has hit India severely. IT industry leaders in India have laid off more than 56,000 employees. 121 companies (part of BSE 500) in India have revealed a considerable reduction in their hiring in the current financial year (from 742,012 to 730,694). The analysis also showcases a decline in hiring within metal, power, capital goods, construction and FMCG sector as well. Additionally, 90,000 job cuts expected in the telecom sector this year.

It is apparent that the current employment situation within previously desired and sought after sectors in India is not good. On the other hand, a quickly growing solar sector in India is promising a quick revival.

Solar Sector: The Saviour

In 2016, $286 billion was spent on renewable energy, surpassing fossil fuel investment ($130 billion). And within that $286 billion, near about $131.56 billion was invested by developing countries like- India, Brazil, Philippines, Mexico, Chile etc.

And each year the investment in renewable energy (mainly solar) is increasing, not just in developed countries but developing countries as well. And as a result, solar has created jobs globally.

Solar is creating 13.7 jobs per million dollars spent in the US, surpassing fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) as it creates 12.1 jobs per million spent. Solar is expected to create 60,000 to 90,000 new jobs by the year 2018 in Brazil. European Union is expected to create +1.25 million economy-wide renewable energy jobs by 2030. 134,000+ jobs are expected to be created in Mexico through the renewable energy sector by 2030. The United Kingdom can create +70,000 net employment in renewable energy by 2030.

In India, Solar industry has created 416,000 jobs within 2015 and 1,017,800 jobs are expected to be created within 2022.

Job Opportunities In Solar

The solar sector is multi-layer infrastructure, which has multiple areas, needing recruitment in different areas for success. A few areas of solar where job potentials are high are- Sales, Engineering, non-technical, legal, Finance, IT, and each of these areas have multiple departments like- EPC, manufacturing, O&M requiring skilled individuals. The business itself has diverse opportunities like- B2B, B2C, Government, No-Government etc.

So, it would be fair to state that with more opportunities, the chances of growing, learning, and succeeding in the solar industry increases incredibly. It is not just the opportunities. The sense of purpose and meaning is what drives the young generation to take the step forward.

And solar brings the perfect reason: Global wellbeing, which can make anyone proud and find meaning in their work with ease.

Biresh Ranjan Das

Head of People strategy and Excellence, Vikram Solar

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