India’s Solar and Wind Targets to Spur Job Growth

 

With a median age of 27.6 years, India is one of the youngest countries in the world. Employment generation is a big priority for the government, and the economy. Fortunately, India’s clean energy goals are providing opportunities to not only to power the growth in the economy, but also to employ thousands of additional workers. Our new analysis, released with our partners in New Delhi today, on “Greening India’s Workforce: Gearing Up for Expansion of Solar and Wind Power in India” estimates that more than 300,000 new workers can be employed in achieving India’s goals to install 160 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind power by 2022 - 34,583 in wind power, 58,647 in ground-mounted solar and 237,980 in rooftop solar. Further, meeting India’s solar module manufacturing demand for this target domestically, can provide employment for up to an additional 45,000 workers in the country by 2022.

The new report builds on NRDC-CEEW’s previous analysis and uses primary market survey information to estimate full-time equivalent (FTE) employment or job-years per megawatt (MW) of capacity installed (ground-mounted solar, rooftop solar and wind) or modules manufactured in the case of solar manufacturing. On the basis of survey results, rooftop solar is most labor-intensive, generating 24.72 job-years per MW, followed by ground-mounted solar, generating 3.45 job-years per MW and wind, generating 1.27 job-years per MW. Solar manufacturing, on average, generates 2.60 job-years per MW of modules manufactured.

Based on the estimated FTE or job-years per MW, the report finds:

  • Over 300,000 workers will be employed in the next 5 years alone, in achieving India’s solar and wind energy targets, mostly in the rooftop solar sector.
Jobs by 2022 Ground-Mounted Solar
(60 GW)
Rooftop Solar
(40 GW)
Wind Power
(60 GW)
Total
(160 GW)
Business Development 500 13,770 360 14,630
Design and Pre-Construction 2,000 79,650 660 82,310
Construction and Commissioning 27,000 124,560 3,600 155,160
Operations and Maintenance 29,147 20,000 29,963 79,110
Total Jobs 58,647 237,980 34,583 331,210

Source: CEEW – NRDC analysis

  • A strong domestic solar module manufacturing industry could provide employment for an additional 45,000 people in India.
  • Solar and wind energy employed more than 21,000 people in India in 2016-2017, and are expected to employ an estimated 25,000 people or more in the following year.
  • Solar jobs will be well distributed across the country, while wind jobs will be concentrated in a few states that have wind power targets.

Based on the findings of the report, and to strengthen the employment generation potential of solar and wind power in India, national and state governments should promote reporting of employment generation from renewable energy companies; provide a greater policy priority to rooftop solar to create renewable energy jobs; support development of localized private sector-led training centres for solar construction jobs and wind power training centres in the 8 states with wind targets; and, promote a strong domestic solar module manufacturing industry to provide additional employment.

Highlighted Additional Resources

  • Clean Energy Powers Local Job Growth in India is available here.
  • Filling the Skill Gap in India’s Clean Energy Market is available here.
  • Other reports on clean energy finance and jobs are available here.

About the Authors

Nehmat Kaur

India Consultant

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