Solar Energy can create 6.7 lakh jobs in India in 10 years

NEW DELHI: Solar power generation has the potential to create close to seven lakh jobs in the country in the next 10 years, says a report.

Solar energy can create up to 1,45,000 MW of capacity and 6.7 lakh jobs in India over next 10 years, said the report, jointly prepared by Bridge To India and Tata Power Solar.

It examines the ideal solar road map for India through comparative analysis of four distinct scenarios of solar power generation – residential rooftops, large rooftops, utility scale projects and ultra-mega projects.

Each scenario is analysed in terms of not only levelised cost of energy but also landed cost of power which measures the cost to a consumer at the point of consumption, rather than at the point of generation.

Ajay Goel, CEO, Tata Power Solar, said, solar is unique in its limitless potential for power generation – from distributed to centralised generation, and residential KW (kilowatt) to GW (gigawatt) scale solar plants, the permutations are endless.

“To solarise our economy, it is important to find the right mix of pathways that will have both economic as well as social impact. We hope that this unique and thought-provoking report will trigger a robust dialogue on the subject,” Goel said.

The objective of the report is to evaluate each of the four distinct scenarios in terms of speed of deployment, implementation challenges and potential for job creation.

Tobias Engelmeier, Founder & Director, Bridge To India, said, “The realizable potential for solar power generation in India is between 110 GW (1,10,000 MW) to 145 GW (1,45,000 MW) across different types of systems. The four scenarios together could easily create over 6,75,000 solar jobs in India in the next 10 years.”

The report shows that currently the ultra-mega plants with a levelised generation cost of Rs 6.6 per unit and a landed cost of Rs 8.4 per unit are most attractive and are already at parity with imported coal.

With an expected rise in imported coal prices, all the other three scenarios will also be able to achieve parity with imported coal over the next three years.

In the long term, large rooftop systems will be the cheapest option for Indian with a levelised generation cost of Rs 6.6 per unit and a landed cost of Rs 6.7 per unit by 2024.

The findings of the report also indicate that Rooftop projects can lead to significantly higher job creation than large projects. The small rooftop scenario would contribute the most, with around 3,25,000 new jobs for 25,000 MW.

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