India’s renewable energy sector can employ up to one million people by the end of the decade, ten times the current amount.
That’s according to a study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), claiming most of these jobs would be from small-scale renewable projects including rooftop solar installations, as opposed to solar farms.
The report cites the importance of the pandemic in slowing India’s renewables boom, with more than 12,000 employed in 2019 – but only 5,200 in 2020 and 6,400 last year.
Although growth was halted, there was a 9% increase in rooftop solar installations last year (1.4GW).
There is also heavy belief in the potential of India’s renewable sector elsewhere, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently releasing a report stating, “the clean energy transition in India is already well underway.”
The IEA reveals that India has already overachieved on its COP21 aim to have 40% of its power capacity from non-fossil fuels, doing so nine years ahead of schedule.
It goes on to reveal: “Renewable electricity is growing at a faster rate in India than any other major economy, with new capacity additions on track to double by 2026.”
Despite India being the world’s third highest emitter, the report reveals: “India’s carbon emissions per person put it near the bottom of the world’s emitters and they are lower still if you consider historical emissions per person.
“The same is true of energy consumption – the average household in India consumes a tenth as much electricity as the average household in the United States.”
The sector is therefore not only expected to push the country forward from an industry perspective but also increase its employment.
On maximising the potential of its renewables sector, Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW, said: “The upcoming Union Budget must especially focus on scaling up rooftop solar, mini and micro grid systems and domestic solar manufacturing to maximise the employment opportunities in the sector.”