While the government has set a target of producing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, the green energy sector will also be able to create employment opportunities for 15 lakh people by that year. This estimate has come out in the draft study report Economic Rate of Return for various Renewable Energy Technologies, which was commissioned by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
According to officials in the ministry, the study was conducted keeping in mind the Central government’s focus on renewable energy. Its main objectives include economic impact of renewable energy and estimation of economic rate of return of various renewable energy technologies.
The government has set a target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy comprising 100 GW solar power, 60 GW wind power, 10 GW bio-energy, and 5 GW small hydro power by 2022. This is expected to increase the share of renewable energy in India’s electricity generation from five per cent in 2015 to 10 per cent in that year, said the report.
The solar sector has the maximum employment generation potential — the study estimated that over one million jobs will be generated to achieve 100 GW grid-connected capacity.
The study has analysed different scenarios based on the ministry’s proposed mix of projects to achieve the 100 GW goal. It says that if the policy shifts towards vast solar parks, then 1,080,000 jobs can be generated by the target year. In another scenario (60 GW rooftop, 40 GW large-scale projects), solar rooftop, with its labour-intensive technology, is prioritised to create a potential 1,310,000 jobs. Similarly, in the wind sector, which has a target of 60 GW, about 1,83,500 jobs will be generated, it is estimated.
To promote solar energy in the country, Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in January 2010, with a target to deploy 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2022. The current NDA government, in June, 2015, revised the targets under National Solar Mission from 20 GW to 100 GW.
In mid-2017, the ministry commissioned a research project to study the economic rate of return for various renewable energy technologies in India. Several studies by national and international organisations have been considered for drafting the report.