Renewable energy sector could generate over 330,000 jobs within five years: report

New Delhi: India’s renewable energy sector is expected to generate over 330,000 new jobs in the next five years (2017-2022), according to a report released on Wednesday, adding that it will also improve energy security, improve energy access and help mitigate climate change. atmospheric.

The report highlights that India’s clean energy initiatives can also help address poverty in rural communities by providing sustainable incomes, health benefits and opportunities to develop the skills of unskilled and semi-skilled workers.

It said that in addition to creating new jobs in the sector, India’s clean energy efforts could improve energy access in India’s poorest rural communities, thereby providing children with more time for learning after school, greater productivity and family incomes, and improved health outcomes.

The report, titled “Can Renewable Energy Jobs Help Reduce Poverty in India?” was published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), an international research organization. It was highlighted that these opportunities could support India’s rural poor by offering an alternative to subsistence farming.

Ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement, the central government announced that India will install 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will come from solar power and 60 GW from wind power.

“The growth of wind and solar energy can be a win-win opportunity for India, helping the country secure a clean energy future while fighting poverty. But if policymakers fail to act, economic growth will leave poor rural people behind, unable to create thousands of new jobs,” said Bharath Jairaj, director of WRI India’s energy program and lead author of the report.

The report found that unskilled and semi-skilled workers in rural areas face barriers to entry into the clean energy sector, and training programs do not address these issues.

For example, the report revealed that renewable energy employers interviewed for the study found that “unskilled workers lack the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in full-time positions.”

“Most training institutes refuse to admit candidates without secondary education, eliminating the 60% of poor Indians who are either illiterate or have only received primary school education. Many training programs take place in urban centers, far from rural communities where most of India’s poor families live,” the study explained.

Additionally, women face unique, additional gender-related challenges because “domestic responsibilities, childcare responsibilities, and gender norms make it almost impossible for them to participate in training programs,” the report says.

“Even as poor Indians overcome obstacles to participate in training programs, the institutes’ curricula are often not aligned with industry needs, making it difficult for graduates to find quality jobs,” said Pamli Deka, manager of WRI’s electricity management initiative and her collaborator – author of the report.

“In fact, we have found that many clean energy employers prefer to train the people they hire because they believe that training institutes do not provide the required and appropriate skills.”

The study recommended that private sector leaders build capacity among unskilled and semi-skilled workers to ensure the sustainability of renewable energy projects and give rural communities a sense of ownership of off-grid projects.

It further said that government officials should create public training programs that prepare poor and less educated people – those who typically do not have access to training institutes and full-time positions – for jobs in the clean energy sector.

It also said training institutes and civil society leaders should “target women and tailor skills programs to their specific needs, including location, working hours, safety and sanitation.”

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