By Arunesh Singh

Although human beings are the most developed species on earth, they have also caused immense harm to the planet’s natural resources, which cannot be replenished. Nevertheless, the accentuated focus on the green economy—a term which refers to economic activities that prioritize human well-being without harming the environment, is a promising development. By embracing this approach, we can transition to a sustainable path of economic growth that avoids the destructive and unsustainable practices typically associated with development. As per a report by the World Economic Forum, India can leverage green growth to add $1 trillion to GDP by 2030 – and as much as $15 trillion by 2070.

Renewable energy sources such as air, solar, and geothermal power offer the most promising solution for a rapidly industrializing country like India. In recent years, India has shown great optimism towards solar power and perceives the solar sector as an excellent opportunity to create green jobs. India has set an ambitious target of deploying approximately 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030, with an expected contribution of 280 GW from solar PV. This endeavor can create employment opportunities for the youth and enable them to play an active role in preserving the environment.

However, to achieve this ambitious target, it is essential to develop a skilled workforce with the appropriate expertise. Meeting the industry’s demands for particular skills, and it is imperative for the government, businesses, and academic institutions to collaborate in designing training programs and certifications that meet industry standards.

India has undertaken various initiatives to tackle the skills gap in the renewable energy industry. The government has launched a number of efforts to support the growing renewable energy sector, including the National Solar Mission and the Wind Energy Mission, which aims to strengthen the country’s renewable energy sector. Additionally, the Green Skill Development Program (GSDP) has been launched by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to develop green skills among youngsters and boost their employability in the sector. Another industry-led initiative is the Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), which aims to develop skills and promote entrepreneurship in the emerging green economy. These measures have resulted in the creation of job possibilities and the encouragement of firms to participate in staff training programmes.

Also there have been skilling initiatives like project AMBER, that offers courses such as the Solar PV Installer program, to provide learners with employment skills for this job role. These short-term training boot camps, typically lasting for 8-10 weeks, and with direct employer participation, enable learners to gain hands-on experience and acquire practical knowledge and skills. The collaboration between industry and academia can lead to innovation and progress in the renewable energy sector while also creating a pool of talented individuals who possess the relevant skills.

However, despite these initiatives, there is still much work to be done to meet the sector’s growing demands. These initiatives need to be nurtured and ramped up manifold. The first step is to increase the number of more targeted training programs that cater to the specific skill sets required for each job role. These programs should not only focus on the technical aspects but also on the soft skills necessary for success in the industry. By providing tailored training programmes, the sector can build a highly skilled workforce that meets the industry’s growing demands. Additionally, policies and incentives should be put in place to encourage individuals to pursue careers in this sector.

The second step is to keep up with the latest technology and trends, for which businesses should offer their employees the opportunity to attend workshops, conferences, and upskilling training programs. Furthermore, the government can incentivize individuals and businesses to participate in skill development by providing tax breaks or subsidies for training programmes. This approach can help maintain a skilled workforce and keep pace with the fast-changing renewable energy industry.

In conclusion, by investing strategically in skilling initiatives, India can unlock its full potential in the renewable energy sector, create employment opportunities, and advance sustainable development. A cooperative approach between industry, academia, and the government can establish a sustainable ecosystem for skilling in the renewable energy sector, leading to the creation of more green jobs. This will help drive industry growth and support sustainable development and encourage a transition towards sustainable economic growth.

The author is CEO of Generation India. Views are personal.

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