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Over three lakh new workers can be employed in wind and solar energy sectors if India achieves its ambitious target of 160 Gw capacity by 2022, a study has shown. India has set a target of having 100 Gw of solar and 60 Gw of wind energy capacities in the country by 2022. "More than 3,00,000 new workers can be employed in wind and solar jobs and more than 1 million total employment opportunities can be created in achieving India's ambitious clean energy goals to install 160 gigawatts of renewable power by 2022," the study, released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said. The first-of-its-kind CEEW-NRDC study, "Greening India's Workforce: Gearing Up For Expansion of Solar and Wind Power in India," builds on earlier work by both organisations. According to the study, the labour-intensive rooftop solar segment will employ 70 per cent of the new workforce, creating seven times more jobs than large-scale projects such as solar farms. The study estimates that India's clean energy goals have the potential to put 34,600 people to work in wind power, 58,600 in utility solar and 2,38,000 in rooftop solar jobs over the next five years. The study also finds that strong growth in the domestic solar manufacturing industry could provide full-time employment for an additional 45,000 people in India. It calculates both the number of full-time jobs that will be created by the solar and wind sectors, as well as the number of workers that will be required to join the sectoral workforce by 2022. It said that solar jobs will be well distributed across India with Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh leading in job creation. Wind jobs, are likely to be concentrated in a few states that have high wind potential, as has been the case with wind capacity, it added. Neeraj Kuldeep, Programme Associate, CEEW, said in the statement, "80 per cent of the new clean energy workforce will be employed during the construction phase.
However, despite these being contractual jobs, the large pipeline of renewable energy projects creates enough opportunities for workers to stay employed. Additionally, since most of these jobs are in the rooftop solar PV segment, central and state governments must provide greater policy support to the rooftop sector."Nehmat Kaur, Consultant and Development Economist, NRDC, added, "With this tremendous opportunity, India is stepping up as a global leader in demonstrating how a growing economy can scale up renewables, generate employment and provide access in the face of rising energy demands." For the past three years, CEEW and NRDC have annually surveyed India's solar and wind project developers, and now manufacturers, to collect accurate, market-based information on jobs created, workforce employed, and the skills required to achieve India's renewable energy goals.