SEMI India, the Indian arm of the global industry organization, SEMI, launched a solar PV work force development initiative, with a three day short course on “Solar PV Power Systems: Concepts, Operation and Applications” in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Workforce development was identified as a priority action area for 2011 by SEMI India’s PV Advisory Committee, comprising key executives from India’s solar PV industry. The short course in Jaipur will be the first in a series of courses that SEMI will organize, in technical collaboration with NCPRE (the National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education, IIT Bombay) and offer in different centres across the country.
Need for solar skill/workforce development programs:
SEMI India’s workforce development initiative aims to address the needs of SEMI member companies and of the wider solar PV industry in India by offering high quality training programmes delivered by leading academic and industry experts and expanding awareness about state of the art solar/PV technologies, applications and practices among engineers and technical personnel.
The rapidly developing solar/PV industry in India, motivated by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) as well as State government policies, is already experiencing a severe shortage of adequately trained and skilled technical manpower in achieving its early goals. Further phases of the JNNSM and the roll out of State government solar policies across the country will accentuate the need for trained technical personnel across all expertise segments from design, engineering and manufacturing to installation, operation and maintenance of solar PV systems.
Globally, the solar and renewable energy industries are seen as major engines of job growth. “Renewable energy technologies generate more jobs per megawatt of installed capacity, per unit of energy produced, and per dollar of investment, than the fossil fuel based energy sector” according to University of California studies. Various European and US studies suggest that in the range of 25 to 30 direct jobs are created for every MWp of PV installed.
The EPIA & Greepeace “Solar Generation 6” Report, 2011, estimates that more than 228,000 people were employed in the solar energy sector in 2009 and projects that the solar electricity sector will become a powerful jobs motor, providing green-collar employment to almost 1.7 million people by 2020 and 2.63 million by 2030.
In India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has estimated that there will be close to 100,000 jobs in PV by 2020. Industry sources suggest that if all job linkages are considered, PV jobs in India could far exceed this figure.
Speaking to the media after the inaugural event, M.M. Vijayvargiya, Director (Technical), Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) said, “With the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission being operationalized, India is poised to take a huge leap in the solar/PV space. The inauguration of this training initiative today in Jaipur is an important step in addressing the needs of this key energy sector in India. We are pleased that this programme has been launched in Jaipur as Rajasthan is emerging as a leading destination for solar power generation and manufacturing in the country”
Prof. Chetan Singh Solanki, IIT Bombay, said, ““We are pleased to join hands with SEMI in addressing the work force requirements of the Solar/PV industry. Solar as an energy source presents great opportunities for innovation as well as job growth across all segments. At NCPRE, we are focusing on manpower training for Solar/PV at all levels: from the level of research programmes to technician training. Efforts are being made to conduct training programs and create PV course content in the form of both text and video. This training material will be available through the NCPRE web page and the distance education program (CDEEP) of IIT Bombay”.
Added, Debasish Paul Choudhury, President, SEMI India, “It is an honor for us to collaborate with the prestigious National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education established at IIT Bombay under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission of the Government of India in rolling out this key initiative. India is emerging as a top market and destination for solar technology and manufacturing because of global demand and Central & State government incentives for the promotion of the industry.
Our estimates suggest that this industry will need 10,000+ technicians in the next 5 years as well as skilled engineers in various aspects of solar/PV technology & manufacturing. Some of the world’s top thin film and crystalline technology companies are emphasizing their activities in India and leading Indian and global manufacturers have unveiled aggressive expansion plans for the Indian market.
We are also most happy to announce that we will be offering a second short course on “Grid Connected Solar PV Systems”, in technical collaboration with the NCPRE, during SOLARCON India 2011 - the premier solar focused technology & business event to be held from November 9 to 11 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre in Hyderabad.”
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