New analysis released on Saturday, in the run up to India’s first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and Expo (RE-Invest) beginning tomorrow in New Delhi, shows that achieving Prime Minister Modi’s recently announced 100 gigawatt (GW) solar energy goal by 2022 could create as many as one million jobs, while greatly improving energy access for Indian citizens and fighting climate change.
Achieving India’s proposed target of 60 GW of wind energy by 2022 would also generate an additional 180,000 jobs.
The analysis, Clean Energy Powers Local Job Growth in India, by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), finds that the project planning, construction, installation and operations required to meet this solar goal could generate as many as 1,000,000 jobs in less than a decade.
This projection does not include jobs created in the manufacturing sector, another significant jobs opportunity.
Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of CEEW, said, “Clean and renewable energy is going to be a growing share of India’s energy mix in the coming years and decades. In addition to contributing to energy access and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, there is a clear third benefit: jobs. CEEW and NRDC’s analysis shows that there is huge opportunity to create jobs across the renewable energy value chain. We must collectively work towards realizing this potential.”
In January, Prime Minister Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama solidified their shared commitment to fighting climate change and accelerating clean energy during the U.S.-India summit, creating joint programmes to scale up renewable energy and create jobs through innovative transnational investment strategies.
That commitment came on the heels of the Modi government’s announcement in November 2014 to quintuple the National Solar Mission goal for scaling up solar energy, increasing the target from 20 GW to 100 GW of grid-connected solar energy by 2022.
“Prime Minister Modi’s clean energy plan creates enormous potential for India’s booming population. It provides job opportunities and access to electricity that will power rapidly growing cities and villages” said Anjali Jaiswal, Director of NRDC’s India Initiative.
“India is aiming to produce more solar energy than any other country in the world, which is an ambitious goal and shows how serious the government is about creating a clean energy economy. Our research has found unequivocally that renewable energy can drive economic development in all corners of the country,” she added.
As India faces threats to energy security and the impacts of climate change, renewable energy offers a critical solution.
India’s solar and wind programmes have already catalysed remarkable growth. In just four years, India’s solar market has grown more than a hundredfold, exceeding 3 GW of installed solar energy. With 250 GW of total installed energy currently and a need for much more power, scaling up solar and wind energy projects is a win-win strategy.