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The employability of the clean energy sector

by Sanjana Bajaj

The clean energy sector has seen a lot of progress in recent years. One highlight came when the IEA announced that for the first time, the clean energy sector created more jobs than the fossil fuel industry worldwide. This article looks at the progress India has made in the sector and the various goals they have set for the future.  

The progress of clean energy is of the utmost importance to the environment and society. In recent years, there has been a tremendous effort from governments, businesses, and citizens to move away from their reliance on fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy. This shift has led to many positive changes for the environment and society, ranging from reduced emissions of harmful pollutants to increased access to affordable energy. 

At the most basic level, the transition to clean energy has already helped to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gasses, and other pollutants that are released into the atmosphere. This has had a positive impact on the environment and public health, as these substances harm the atmosphere and human health. By reducing the amount of air pollution, clean energy sources can help to improve air quality and reduce the number of related illnesses. In addition, the shift to clean energy has the potential to reduce energy costs. As the cost of renewable energy sources decreases, they can become more accessible and affordable to the public. This could lead to lower electricity bills, which would benefit individuals and businesses alike. Renewable energy sources are usually more reliable than fossil fuels, meaning that they could provide more consistent power and better stability in the energy grid. 

Finally, the shift to clean energy has the potential to create new jobs. As the demand for renewable sources of energy grows, new jobs will need to meet that demand. In addition, these jobs are often in rural areas, which can provide much-needed economic opportunities to those areas. A new report by UKERC has also found that renewable energy can create three times as many jobs per million pounds invested as compared to fossil fuels. This can be seen across the world as the number of people employed in the clean energy sector of the energy industry outnumbers those involved in the fossil fuel industry, according to the International Energy Agency. 

Following this trend, India has made significant strides in its development of clean energy sources in recent years. In 2017, the country announced an ambitious plan to generate 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022, with a target of 450 gigawatts by 2030. This has opened up a range of new job opportunities within the clean energy sector in India. They have also continued to increase these goals as they move forward and increase their target to 500 Gigawatts by 2030 at COP26 in 2021. In the same year, the NRDC predicted that this can cause the creation of over 3.5 million employment opportunities that include both short-term and long-term job opportunities. 

The Indian government has invested heavily in the sector and is committed to creating and supporting jobs in the clean energy sector. This has led to an increase in the number of public and private sector jobs related to solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy sources. For example, the Indian government has launched several initiatives, such as the National Solar Mission and the National Wind Mission, to promote the development and adoption of renewable energy sources.

In addition, the government has also provided incentives to companies in the clean energy sector. These incentives are aimed at encouraging private sector investments in the sector and creating more job opportunities for skilled professionals. This has resulted in creating a range of jobs, such as engineers, technicians, project managers, and technicians.

The private sector has also been actively involved in the development of clean energy sources. Many companies have invested heavily in research and development to develop new technologies in the sector. This has led to an increase in the number of jobs in the clean energy sector. With wind energy being one of the key producers of renewable energy in India, there has been an emergence of prominent players in this field. One of the most important ones being the Wind World India limited, which manufactures wind turbine generators in the states of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. They employ over 5000 people, giving job opportunities to high-skilled and semi-skilled workers from emerging urban centers.

With the decentralization of the renewable energy sector, solar energy has become the fastest-growing energy in this sector. This has led to a dramatic increase in employment within India, with over 80,000 workers being employed in this field in the past year. There has also been an increase in diversity of the work with over 20% of the workers being women and the figure is flourishing.

If the current figures are an accurate description of the employment rate, then it is assumed that the renewable energy sector in India will have employed over one million people in less than a decade. This number is ten times the estimated current workforce number as reported by the NRDC. Most of the job opportunities created would be in small-scale renewable energy projects such as the mini and micro-grid systems as compared to more complex and costly solar parks. This would lead to an increase in small-scale industries, which would help further decrease the price of electricity per unit. An increase in employment would also translate to renewable energy being more accessible. 

Overall, the development of clean energy sources in India has led to an increase in job opportunities in the sector. The government has provided incentives to the private sector to encourage investments in the sector, while the private sector has been actively involved in research and development to develop new technologies. As a result, there is now a range of job opportunities in the clean energy sector in India, which should increase as more progress is made in the industry, allowing for a faster shift to clean energy. 

Sanjana Bajaj is a third-year student at O.P Jindal Global University majoring in economics.

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