The Next Wave of New Jobs in India Will Be in Renewable Energy Sector. Here's Why Potential of sun and wind as a sustainable source of energy for the electricity hungry nation recognised and at last worked upon

By Sanchita Dash

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Power is all you need. No, we aren't talking about the power of politics but the power of renewable energy. The Indian renewable energy sector has been growing at a fast rate and has resulted in more and more companies coming up in the high investment sector.

There are also high hopes pinned on the Indian solar industry. The world's third biggest solar power, India has already achieved the target of 20 GW it had set for 2022. Next up, India has now set a target of achieving of 100 GW in the next four years.

A report done by International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that India would be the fastest growing energy consumer and market by 2040. The forecast also promises a bright scope for the renewable energy sector.

But what's incredible is that for a country like India which struggles with employment issues and has over 80 per cent of its workforce employed in the informal sector, there's a ray of hope in the solar and wind industries. The International Labour Organization has reported that by 2022, over 300,000 people will be employed in the solar and wind industries.

Brighter Future

The report World Employment and Social Outlook 2018 – Greening with jobs states that India is rapidly increasing its share of renewable energy sources but still relies on coal, oil and natural gas and the related carbon emissions for 80 per cent of its electricity. However, with major developments in the industry, it's destined for greater and faster growth. The solar industry in India is already worth over INR 30,000 crores.

According to India's twelfth Five-Year Plan, environmental sustainability is core to India's development strategy. This has resulted in the setting up of a comprehensive framework for skills development for a green transition. Several institutions were created as a result, including the Skills Council for Green Jobs in 2015, with the backing of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), states the report.

In an earlier interview with Entrepreneur India, Sundeep Gupta, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Jakson, said that he believes the solar industry will continue to grow for the next 15-20 years at 50-60 per cent per year.

Big Targets

India had already successfully hit its earlier target of 20 GW for 2022. Soon, it reset the goal to 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources by 2022. The ILO report states that this number is half of India's current total electricity production. "Using surveys of solar and wind companies, developers and manufacturers, the study finds that over 300,000 workers will be employed in the solar and wind energy sectors to meet the 2022 target (CEEW, NRDC and SCGJ, 2017), against 154,000 in 2009 (IRENA, 2011). To meet the target, the number of workers required by ground-mounted solar, rooftop solar and wind power projects, will need to increase," states the report.

However, the report also mentions that the employment will take place if India increases the domestic capacity of solar module manufacturing and establishes vocational training programmes and certification schemes.

In a step in the right direction, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's International Solar Alliance (ISA), a treaty-based alliance, is set to promote solar energy in 121 countries. Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi co-hosted the International Solar Alliance Summit along with French President Emmanuel Macron. The French President said that under the ISA, 100 centres for excellences would train 10,000 technicians to achieve the target of 1,000 GW of solar energy that needs $1,000 billion.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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