Report: India's solar ambitions to create more than 1 million jobs

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If India is to achieve 100 GW of solar by 2022, it will require hundreds of thousands of PV power plant engineers, construction and operations and maintenance workers, delivering a green jobs boom to the country. Two independent research and analysis bodies, the NRDC and CEEW, published the findings today, noting almost one-quarter of the jobs will be ongoing beyond the project construction phase.

“India has a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how a growing economy can scale up green energy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and boosting renewable power, and protect our climate while meeting rising energy demands,” said Nehmat Kaur, NRDC India Representative.

The analysis found that 210,800 skilled engineers will be required for PV power plant design, 624,000 construction works for construction and 182,400 low-skilled workers for ongoing project O&M. The analysis does not take into account manufacturing jobs, which NRDC “another significant jobs opportunity.”

The report recommends that “robust skill training” programs are required and suggests solar training institutes be established in regions emerging as Indian solar hubs including Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. It also suggests extending existing training standards to the solar and wind sectors.

“There is a clear need for improved training and certification programs, which are accessible to workers of varying backgrounds and skill sets in all states,” said Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW. “Policymakers should also consider establishing, at least, one prominent solar training institute in each of the renewable energy clusters of the country.”

The report recommends that India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) should identify the training gaps that currently exist, after finding that solar industry survey respondents reported that, “the quality of current programs is poor and thus [does] not match industry needs.” MNRE has established a Skill Council for Green Jobs, and the report suggests it should identify existing skill gaps.

The study points to India’s leading role International Solar Alliance, which has brought together 120 solar-rich countries, to facilitate the deployment of solar technology. The Alliance has already met twice.

The Filling the Skill Gap in India’s Clean Energy Market: Solar Energy Focus report is available online.

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