Future skills and job creation with renewable energy in India

India has made sig­nif­i­cant progress in util­is­ing its abun­dant renew­able ener­gy (RE) resources. The coun­try has emerged as one of the lead­ers of the glob­al ener­gy tran­si­tion, with a cumu­la­tive renew­able ener­gy installed capac­i­ty of 74 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2018, and has ambi­tions to meet a tar­get of 175 GW by the year 2022. This study analy­ses the employ­ment effects of dif­fer­ent plans for expand­ing pow­er gen­er­a­tion in India. The study aims to assess the co-ben­e­fits of a low-car­bon ener­gy tran­si­tion in the coun­try. Four dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios are analysed for future devel­op­ment of the pow­er sec­tor in India with vary­ing shares of renew­able ener­gy. The study also pro­vides an ini­tial assess­ment of the skill require­ments, attain­ment lev­els and tech­ni­cal train­ing required for India’s present pow­er sec­tor plans and future low-car­bon pow­er sec­tor ambitions.




Key policy opportunities:

Pol­i­cy oppor­tu­ni­ty 1: India can sig­nif­i­cant­ly boost employ­ment through the pow­er sec­tor by increas­ing the share of renew­ables. With the gov­ern­men­t’s pledge under the NDC to scale up renew­ables in the coun­try, net employ­ment can be expect­ed to increase by an addi­tion­al 30 % by 2030. There is abun­dant room to achieve more; by fol­low­ing IRENA’s ambi­tious REmap path­way, employ­ment through the pow­er sec­tor can be almost doubled.

Pol­i­cy oppor­tu­ni­ty 2: By elec­tri­fy­ing the rur­al areas in the coun­try with dis­trib­uted renew­able ener­gy tech­nolo­gies, such as small hydro, rooftop solar and bio­mass, the employ­ment impact per installed capac­i­ty of these tech­nolo­gies is about 25 times greater than fos­sil-fuel based pow­er generation.

Pol­i­cy oppor­tu­ni­ty 3: Fol­low­ing the his­tor­i­cal devel­op­ment in India’s coal sec­tor, with a shift towards an ambi­tious decar­bonised pow­er sec­tor in India, coal-sec­tor-based employ­ment is expect­ed to decline by about 52 % between 2020 and 2050. This tran­si­tion, how­ev­er, needs to be effi­cient­ly man­aged polit­i­cal­ly to mit­i­gate neg­a­tive impacts on dis­placed work­ers and communities.



Year of pub­li­ca­tion: 2019

Edi­tors: David Jacobs, Ayo­de­ji Okun­lo­la, Lau­ra Nagel, Sebas­t­ian Hel­gen­berg­er and Arunima

Tech­ni­cal imple­men­ta­tion: Neer­aj Kuldeep, Poon­am Nagar Koti, Arjun Dutt, Tan­may Bishnoi,
and Abhishek Dalal — Coun­cil on Ener­gy, Envi­ron­ment and Water (CEEW), Skill Coun­cil for
Green Jobs (SCGJ), India

Sug­gest­ed cita­tion: IASS/TERI. Future skills and job cre­ation with renew­able ener­gy in India. Assess­ing the co-ben­e­fits of decar­bon­is­ing the pow­er sec­tor. Potsdam/New Del­hi: IASS/TERI, 2019.

DOI: 10.2312/iass.2019.022


This study is part of a 2019 series of three stud­ies assess­ing the co-ben­e­fits of decar­bon­is­ing the pow­er sec­tor in India, edit­ed by IASS, IET, TERI and UfU: