India’s renewable energy workforce has grown five-fold in the past five years, according to a new report on Monday.
In 2019, nearly 100,000 workers are employed in the solar and wind industry, up from 19,800 in 2014. Of these, 12,400 workers were employed in FY19 and 30,000 in FY18 by utility-scale solar, rooftop solar and wind energy projects.
These findings were released here by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ).
Rapid capacity addition in India’s solar and wind sectors has been the primary factor behind the growth, according to the report ‘Powering Jobs Growth with Green Energy’.
Achieving the 175 GW renewable energy target by 2022 could create over 330,000 jobs in the wind and solar sectors; as many as 230,000 additional employment between now and 2022.
“India is at the centre of the global energy transition and its successful renewable energy programme is inspiring and enabling similar low-carbon transitions across other emerging economies,” CEEW CEO Arunabha Ghosh told IANS.
In the last two years, the renewable energy capacity addition outweighed additions in thermal power.
“While India deepens its renewable energy market to ensure that the employment potential is met, it would also need to increase focus on creating a skilled workforce and designing quality training programmes,” Ghosh said.
The CEEW, NRDC, SCGJ analysis finds that 45,000 workers could be employed in solar module manufacturing in India as part of the 100 GW solar target.
However, policy certainty, the government support and reduction in the cost of finance will be key to sustaining the growth of the renewable energy markets and the renewable energy workforce.
Renewable energy jobs growth slowed in 2019 because of the 20 per cent decline in capacity additions in the solar and wind sector.
The goods and services tax (GST), imposition of safeguard duty, payment delays by power distribution companies, lack of finance and infrastructure constraints were key reasons behind the slowdown.
“Strategic thinking is needed to grow sustainable jobs in India and around the world, especially supporting decentralised renewable energy.
“The 100,000 clean jobs happening now are vital to powering India’s economic growth and meeting climate targets,” said Anjali Jaiswal, Senior Director with NRDC.