India's renewable energy sector could potentially employ around one million people by 2030, which would be ten times more than the existing workforce of an estimated 1.1 lakh employed by the sector, according to an independent study released on Thursday by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ).
The study "India's Expanding Clean Energy Workforce" highlighted that most of the new jobs would be generated by small-scale renewable energy projects such as rooftop solar and mini and micro-grid systems compared to utility or large-scale projects like solar parks.
The CEEW-NRDC-SCGJ analysis also underlined the adverse impact of the pandemic on employment in the renewable energy sector. In comparison to 12,400 new workers employed in the sector in FY19, only 5,200 new workers were employed in FY20 and 6400 were employed in FY21, it said.
In FY21, a majority of the new workers were employed in the rooftop solar segment where annual capacity additions grew by nine per cent over FY20 and accounted for 1.4 GW capacity, it added.
The study further noted that India has successfully trained 78,000 people under the Suryamitra training program, between 2015 and 2017, to improve the availability of skilled workers for clean energy projects.
Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW stated, "The upcoming Union Budget must especially focus on scaling up rooftop solar, mini and microgrid systems, and domestic solar manufacturing to maximise the employment opportunities in the sector."