New Delhi: The distributed renewable energy sector is set to create 400,000 jobs in India by 2023, including 190,000 direct, formal jobs, almost double the current number, as well as 210,000 direct, informal jobs, according to the first annual jobs census measuring employment from decentralised renewables for rural electrification released today by industry body Power for All.
The “Powering Jobs Census 2019: The Energy Access Workforce” aims to spotlight the energy skills and jobs needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 ─ access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The census provides comprehensive data on energy access jobs created by decentralised renewable energy including solar for home and business, green mini-grids and productive use systems such as solar water pumps. The India census received responses from 37 companies in India across the sector including many major companies representing a large market share.
“Access to electricity means access to jobs. The powering Jobs census offers strong evidence of the important link between energy access and employment in countries where rural joblessness is at record highs,” said Power for All Chief Research Officer and census lead researcher Rebekah Shirley.
According to government efforts like the Saubhagya scheme, at present, less than 20,000 rural households remain unelectrified. However, the quality, reliability, affordability, and short-duration supply of electricity continue to present challenges. In addition, the recent Periodic Labour Force Survey showed that the unemployment rate in India is at its highest since 1972, with rural unemployment up more than three times among men, and more than double among women.
According to the census findings, decentralised renewables are a significant employer. Relative to its penetration level in the market, the DRE sector has already grown an impressive direct employee base. The India census results show that the country’s DRE direct, formal workforce is already equivalent to the on-grid solar industry, and may double in size between 2017-18 and 2022-23 if the mini-grid market continues to expand at a rapid pace.
“In 2017-18, the DRE sector provided 95,000 jobs, most of which are from end-user product providers, which are companies that sell pico solar appliances, solar home systems, and other small, off-grid appliances directly to customers. With strong policy support, mini-grids could grow to become a major employer,” Power for All said in a statement.
The first edition of the job census surveyed three countries including India, Kenya and Nigeria, and will expand data collection to 25 countries by 2021.[Courtesy: ETEnergyWorld ]