Asia accounts for 60% of the total global employment generated, with China generating the highest—around 39% of the total global employment.
A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says around 11 million jobs were created by the global renewable energy sector in 2018. The report highlights the various sectors—solar, biofuels and hydropower—to assess the employment generation by the sector; 3.6 million jobs were created in solar PV industry, 2.1 million in biofuels (6% increase from 2017) and hydropower. Asia accounts for 60% of the total global employment generated, with China generating the highest—around 39% of the total global employment. The report says that 32% of the new jobs because of renewables growth went to women.
India’s largest renewable-sector employment generation was in the labour-intensive hydro-power segment,with 17% of the global hydro-power employment generation being from the country. India could perhaps tackle its unemployment problem via the renewable energy sector—the report puts India in the top 10 countries that are generating renewables employment. A report published in 2017, Greening India’s Workforce: Gearing up for expansion of solar and wind power in India, says, in the rooftop solar segment, a more labour-intensive area, 24.72 job years per mega-watt (MW) were created. In comparison, ground-mounted solar accounts for 3.45 job years per MW, and wind power for 1.27 job years per MW. For India, it makes sense to focus on labour-intensive renewables segments. Post-installation, the worker should be absorbed as an employee for maintenance and should not seep back into unemployment. Tying the jobs vision, or at least a part of it, to the renewables vision will reap rich dividends for India. Indeed, given the country’s ambitious Paris commitments, jobs could bloom in thousands in the solar and hydro sector if the right policy environment is provided.