DRE In Solar Provides Employment Boost says PowerForAll Report

Highlights :

  • The high market potential for DRE technologies in India is due to its
    the estimated 6.6 million population still missing power access.
  • The Indian government has set a target of installing up to 2000 MWp for off-grid solar PV applications that include solar lamps/lanterns, solar pumps. progress has been tardy however, due to multiple factors
DRE In Solar Provides Employment Boost says PowerForAll Report

Power for All, the global campaign to end energy poverty, today released its second Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) jobs report supported by GET.invest, Good Energies Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The industry’s most comprehensive emerging markets employment census shows increased demand for DRE solutions is creating hundreds of thousands of formal and informal jobs. The sector is becoming a major employment engine, especially in remote rural areas in emerging and developing economies where poverty and unemployment levels are high. In addition, it is helping achieve universal electricity access while supporting the world’s transition to clean energy.

In order to realize the full social and economic benefits of DRE, the report calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to ensure the necessary human capital is in place.

DRE sector Employment in India

Creating Jobs In India

“With DRE recovering from the impact of the pandemic faster than the broader economy its promise is clear, however significant challenges remain,” said Kristina Skierka CEO, Power for All. “Energy regulations need to be overhauled to accommodate renewables and other energy
innovations, foreign investment encouraged, and structural issues like access to foreign capital and licensing restrictions resolved in order to grow DRE jobs and realize the sector’s full potential.”
According to the report, the DRE sector is a significant contributor to job creation in energy poor countries with the potential to create direct employment for up to half a million people in Africa by 2030. The sector showed great resilience in the face of COVID-19 with jobs returning in 2021 and now surpassing pre-pandemic levels in most of the study countries.

DRE–which includes pico-solar, appliances, solar home systems (SHS), commercial and industrial (C&I) standalone systems, and mini- grids–has an important role to play in accelerating United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (universal access to clean reliable and affordable energy) especially in remote rural communities, and efforts towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The sector has also been a source of ‘productive’ and ‘decent’ employment, especially in emerging economies where employment is a major focus of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 (inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all). The rapid recovery of jobs following the pandemic proves the sector’s resilience, indicating those jobs are likely immune to the worst recessionary pressures.

“Access to energy transforms every facet of life and over the past decade, technologies have been rapidly replacing fossil fuels as the most cost-effective building blocks for powering economic development,” says Suman Sureshbabu, Managing Director, Demand, Jobs and Livelihoods at the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP). “The Powering Jobs Reports demonstrates the green job creation potential of the vibrant DRE sector, especially for entrepreneurship and small enterprise development.”

Power for All’s “Powering Jobs Census 2022: The Energy Access Workforce” report is based on a survey of more than 350 companies and focus groups across five countries: Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. The survey collected employment and sales data from 2019 to 2021 as well as projections for 2022 – 2023.

DRE skillsets in demand

The Skillsets in Demand

Highlights of the report include:

  • Mixed bag of blessings in job growth: From 2019 – 2021 the DRE sector created more than 80,000 direct workers in India and 144,000 across Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda and Ethiopia.
  • Kenya’s estimated 50,000 jobs, greatly outnumber those of Kenya Power (KPLC), the nation’s utility-scale power provider, with its 7,000 workers
  • Nigeria’s estimated 50,000 jobs nearly matches the oil and gas sector, currently estimated at 65,000.
  • India saw a nearly 10 percent reduction in 2020 jobs due to the pandemic, though this was milder than in the overall renewable energy sector and other sectors.
  • Quick recovery of pandemic-related job losses: The pandemic, and other factors such as supply chain disruptions, conflict and foreign exchange (forex) shortages, contributed to the decline in direct employment in 2021.
  • Pandemic related job losses ranged from 1 percent in Kenya to 23 percent in Ethiopia in 2020.
  • Kenya, and Nigeria DRE employment saw a strong recovery reaching pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
  • The sector is predicted to create more than 224,000 jobs through 2023 in Nigeria, India and Kenya.
  • Structural challenges in Ethiopia and Uganda are expected to keep direct employment sluggish.

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