Exorcism of Unemployment- Switching to Solar
- February 9, 2019
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Current progress in India indicates incredible growth in business and industry development, testified by the country’s acquirement of 77th position On World Bank’s Ease Of Doing Business Report from 126th rank in 2016. However, factoring in 6.1% (NSSO data) current unemployment rate it is important to note that unemployment in the country is surging faster than development and job creation. Improving functionalities and inner mechanisms through policy reformations have done a great job in India, but as a scenario indicates, the country needs a saviour to significantly increase job development.
Manufacturing is The Way
As consumerism takes lead in the global market, building manufacturing base within the country can serve as the best way to solve unemployment related issues. In addition, India has 600 million people (more than half of its population) under 25 years of age, which makes India very capable to initiate and build a strong manufacturing base, creating jobs for able citizens. Case in point, China has built its strong manufacturing base utilizing its man power and creating jobs, while Japan is losing ground in providing jobs as its working age population declines. Therefore, it is clear the manufacturing is the only way to build sustainable economic and social structure within a developing country.
Solar As Saviour
Now, after agreeing with the importance of manufacturing we need to identify the most promising industry to invest upon. In this competition, solar will take the crown as the most promising and lucrative industry for a developing country. Solar has received increasing global acceptance (US, China, and Japan leading the change) in recent years, which proves the legitimacy of solar/renewable energy sources. In India, the solar industry has shown drastic development, reaching to ~24 GW (cumulative solar capacity) in 2019 from 5 GW in 2015. Growth in rooftop, which has already surpassed 2.3 GW in 2019 highlights quick rise in solar awareness in the country, creating huge employment options within the country. Statistics show that solar industry has created 1.6 lakh jobs in 2016-17 and 10 lakh jobs are expected be created within 2022.
Not just in India, renewable energy especially solar is creating jobs in developed and developing countries alike. For example, in US, solar energy is creating 13.7 jobs per million dollars spent, more than 1.25 million jobs in renewable energy are expected to be created by 2030, Mexico is expecting to create +134,000 jobs in by 2030, and global it is expected that renewable energy will create 24 million jobs by 2030.
Job Opportunities In Solar
Solar industry has multiple layers and therefore, the requirement for talent is diverse. A few of the areas where solar present huge job potential in India and abroad are- Engineering, Finance, Sales, Legal, IT and other technical and non-technical careers in different departments such as- Manufacturing, EPC, O&M within Government, B2B, B2C work houses.
Also, job slump in IT has seen 121 companies to lay off more than 7 lakh people, and there is decline in new job creation in metal, power, capital goods, construction and FMCG sector as well. This situation adds urgency to prioritizing solar for job creation in India.
Additionally, solar offers more than just job opportunities, it offers a part to make positive changes happen, which is a strong motivator and able component to increase self-worth in people. Creating jobs that are meaningful and make people proud of what they are doing is the best option for a country to foster socio-economic growth.
Although, there is solar growth within the country, India is focusing on importing solar equipment other than manufacturing, which is not a great choice. Solar manufacturing sector requires talent/manpower in multiple fronts, thus has the most potential for creating largest number of jobs. Understanding the equation, countries like China have made great efforts in supporting solar manufacturing, and developing countries like- Bangladesh, Chili, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina are betting big on solar.
India is walking in the same path, the country just needs re-alignment of policies to support domestic manufacturers and protect investor interest for solar project in the country. Domestic manufacturing of Indian solar sector is able to offer energy security, position in the export market, and stands to save India huge amounts of money ($42 bn by 2030 from solar imports & country spent $ 87.7 billion in FY 17-18 in oil imports), kicking back the profits towards socio-economic growth and employment generation.
This time is now, the opportunity is here, all India needs to do is to make a decision and invest in solar. The results will definitely help the country ascend to great heights, solving employment and energy problem at one go.