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Together with energy efficiency, clean energy technologies such as solar and wind are central to the fight against climate change. They are available today, getting better and cheaper all the time, and help improve air quality whilst creating new jobs. Photo©UN/Eskinder Debebe

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The Indian government has launched a new series of reports on Renewable Energy Jobs and Finance which show major potential for green job growth in the country's wind and solar energy sectors, with an estimated 70,000 jobs already created.

The report series, authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, is the first independent, external analysis of employment opportunities for India's solar and wind energy markets.

At the launch of the report, former Minister Suresh Prabhu said:

Energy access and clean energy development is a national priority. Solar and wind energy provides a tremendous opportunity to provide light to Indian homes and jobs to local communities.

Analysis shows that grid-connected solar energy development employed over 23,000 workers during the first phase of solar policies in India from 2011 to 2014. Similarly, wind energy development created over 45,000 jobs by 2012 based on government estimates, as discussed in “Solar Power Jobs: Exploring the Employment Potential in India’s Grid-Connected Solar Market” and “Creating Green Jobs: Employment Generation from Wind Energy in India.” 

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In 2010, India launched the National Solar Mission (NSM or Mission) to promote grid-connected and off-grid solar energy with the goal to deploy 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2022, with job creation part of the rationale. In just four years, the country's solar market has grown more than a hundred fold to achieve over 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of grid-connected installed solar energy.

The new Indian government  is set to launch a similar national mission for wind energy after it re-introduced financial incentives in this year’s budget. The mission would aim to unlock the vast wind energy resources that remain untapped across parts of the country traditionally not seen as conducive to wind energy generation, thereby giving a further boost to the generation of clean energy and jobs.

 The analysis also finds, however, that the Indian government and business leaders must overcome financing obstacles to achieve renewable energy goals as well as the full job growth potential of the clean energy sector, as discussed in the new joint reports “Reenergizing India’s Solar Energy Market Through Financing” and “A Second Wind for India’s Energy Market: Financing Mechanisms to Support India’s National Wind Mission”.

The reports demonstrate that both strong government policies and strategic financing will be necessary to realize the full potential of solar and wind energy development in India.

Solar lantern photo by Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia

Wind turbine photo by Yahoo

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