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India sees 8-fold rise, adds over 52k workers in solar & wind energy sectors in FY22, study shows

India’s clean energy sectors employ 164,000 workers as of FY22 showing a 47% increase from FY21, finds the study jointly conducted by three organisations — CEEW, NRDC India, & SCGJ.

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New Delhi: India’s solar and wind energy workforce saw an eight-fold increase in FY22 as compared to FY21, with 52,700 new workers added to project development roles, a new study highlighted.

The independent study jointly conducted by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Natural Resources Defense Council India (NRDC India), and Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), was published earlier this week.

Of the total new workforce, 52,100 workers (about 99 per cent) were employed in the solar energy sector, while the wind energy sector employed about 600 new workers, the report noted.

“Our earlier studies have showcased the potential to employ 1 million people in the sector as India marches towards its 2030 ambitions. The skilling programmes must catch up with the new requirements arising from sectors such as solar module and battery manufacturing and hybrid projects,” Neeraj Kuldeep, senior programme lead at CEEW, said.

As of FY22, about 1,64,000 active workforces are employed in the solar and wind energy sectors, a 47 per cent increase from FY21. Of the total workforce, 84 per cent of the workers are in the solar energy sector.

The report also highlights that India’s renewable energy sector has shown significant resilience after the Covid-19 pandemic and has reached a cumulative installed capacity of 120 GW at the end of 2022.

“The continued growth of renewable energy jobs shows the potential to achieve multiple priorities of the Indian government, including employment generation, the expansion of clean energy and robust economic development. The country’s ambitious renewable energy targets provide an opportunity to create a more equitable workforce while transitioning to a low-carbon economy,” Dipa Bagai, country head, NRDC India, said.

The research also found that there is a massive shortage of workers trained in upstream manufacturing segments such as poly-silicon, ingots, wafers, and cells.

“This segment is the focus of the recently launched INR 19,500 crore (USD 2.43 billion) tranche-II of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. This scheme targets 65 GW of domestic manufacturing capacity (29 GW fully integrated, 18 GW wafer to module integration and 18 GW cell to module integration),” the report noted.

During the Union budget for 2023-24, announced on February 1, the government allocated Rs 35,000 crore for “priority capital investments” towards the country’s energy transition to meet its net-zero objectives — a pledge Prime Minister Narendra Modi made to cut India’s emissions net zero by 2070 at the COP26 global climate summit in 2021.

(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)

Also Read: Why Australia’s Lowy Institute says India is Asia’s 4th biggest power but still an ‘underachiever’


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