NEW DELHI: India has committed to 266 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy in the next five years and promises to generate 1 million jobs by meeting its target of installing 100 GW of solar energy by 2022.
The announcement was made at an energy-financing summit in New Delhi, RE-INVEST 2015, where The Climate Group also launched a critical report on off-grid renewable energy solutions for India, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets. The business case for off-grid energy in India report identifies the most promising and innovative enterprises to invest in and provides recommendations on how to address key challenges to scalability.
Krishnan Pallassana, India Executive Director at The Climate Group, explains how boosting off-grid renewables such as solar home systems will have a positive knock-on effect on India’s employment and economy: “India has embarked on an ambitious low carbon growth path wherein energy access forms the crux of equitable socio-economic development. Harnessing solar power gives people the unique opportunity to enhance their productivity and thus living standards.”
RE-INVEST was a melting-pot of over 2,800 international financers, business leaders and policymakers, and was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change Michael Bloomberg.
A separate report launched at the summit, Clean Energy Powers Local Job Growth in India by NRDC and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, suggests India has the potential to create 183,500 full-time jobs if 60 GW of wind energy capacity is generated by 2022.
The new interim report emphasizes the massive economic ramifications brought by growing clean energy industries in India and highlights the need for an increased workforce in rooftop solar in particular, which is highly labor-intensive.
RE-INVEST's various panel events also highlighted the Indian government’s intention of making ‘24/7 electrification’ and ‘clean energy access’ its two primary goals.
Prime Minister’s Modi government has recently taken on many bold new clean energy projects such as huge solar parks, a policy shift which is expected to further weave a more consolidated job market. According to the new report, India’s wind and solar energy markets have already created nearly 70,000 jobs in India.
The government is also mulling utilizing affordable capital through green banks and bonds to help sustain the pace of green jobs creation, as well as driving collaboration between government agencies and local companies to improve skills-development.
Authors highlight that as India faces rising fuel prices, threats to energy security, and worsening impacts of climate change, renewables offer a clear and proven solution. "In just four years, India’s solar market has grown more than a hundredfold, exceeding 3 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar energy. India recently increased its 2022 grid-connected solar energy target by five-fold to 100 GW from 20 GW. India is also the world’s fifth-largest wind energy producer, targeting 60 GW of wind energy by 2022. With 250 GW of total installed energy currently and a need for much more power, scaling up solar and wind energy projects can power India’s economic growth and create jobs."
By Shuavit Koul
We're hosting a Twitter Q&A on the report on Monday February 23 at 10.30am London time/4pm New Delhi time. Join us on #Bijli and @ClimateGroup to find out more.
We have also created a series of photo facts using data from the report and pictures from our Bijli - Clean Energy for All project in India. Feel free to download and share them on social media using hashtag #Bijli. Just click play below, scroll through the gallery, and then click on an image to open it in a new window and simply download from there.