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Green energy to create over a million jobs in India: study

16 February 2015

India's goal of generating 100 Giga Watt of solar energy by 2022 could create one million jobs, while the parallel target of achieving 60GW of wind energy would generate an additional 180,000 jobs, a new study says.

The analysis by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), titled 'Clean energy powers local job growth in India', also said that it will also improve the energy access for Indian citizens and help fight climate change.

"Achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recently announced 100 gigawatt (GW) solar energy goal by 2022 could create as many as one million jobs while greatly improving energy access for Indian citizens and fighting climate change," the analysis said.

It further said that achieving India's proposed target of 60GW of wind energy by 2022 would also generate an additional 180,000 jobs.

The analysis finds that these one million jobs will come from project planning, construction, installation and operations required to meet this solar goal.

"Clean and renewable energy is going to be a growing share of India's energy mix in the coming years and decades. In addition to contributing to energy access and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, there is a clear third benefit which is jobs," said Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer of CEEW.

In January, Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama solidified their shared commitment to fighting climate change and accelerating clean energy, creating joint programmes to scale up renewable energy and create jobs through innovative transnational investment strategies.

"That commitment came on the heels of Modi government's announcement in November 2014 to quintuple the National Solar Mission goal for scaling up solar energy, increasing the target from 20GW to 100GW of grid-connected solar energy by 2022," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made a strong pitch for making renewable sources like solar and wind power affordable, even as he asserted that this green energy push was not to impress the world, but to bridge India's energy deficit.

He also said India is working on building a consortium of 50 countries with abundant solar radiation, to pool research and technological advancements to improve its accessibility to the poor and in the remote areas.

Inaugurating the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest), Modi also talked about "seven horses of energy" and said India has so far focused on thermal, gas, hydro and nuclear power and efforts should now shift to solar, wind and biogas.

About 60 per cent of India's electricity comes through coal and the country has so far been resisting pressure to commit to any emissions targets on the grounds that it could hamper its economy and hurt the poor. This, however, cannot go on indefinitely, he said.

On the first day of the three-day event, as many as 293 companies, including NTPC, Suzlon and Reliance Power, have committed to set up plants to generate 266 GW of renewable energy in five years, while country's largest lender, SBI committed Rs75,000 crore for generation of 15,000 MW of clean energy over a period of five years.

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