According to reports, the principal problem facing the renewable energy sector in the country is not finance or land, though these issues too exist.
The biggest worry is the lack of skilled manpower, experts say.
“Everybody seems to want white-collared jobs; there is nobody out there to work in the sun,” Mr Debashish Majumdar, Chairman and Managing Director, IREDA, said.
“Manpower is something we need to work on,” he said, adding that a change in mindset is in order.
He pointed out that several people on the fields today are working with no roadmap and no plans on their career.
“We must look at how to create the right atmosphere to do such jobs as well,” Mr Majumdar said.
With projects coming under the solar mission alone, about six lakh jobs would be created, considering about 35 people are involved in the installation of 1 MW of solar plant- inclusive of manufacturing and installation of the final plant, according to Mr Debasish Paul Choudhury, President, SEMI India.
As such, training people for jobs in renewable energy sector is in itself a very lucrative business proposition, he said.
In this context, to form the building blocks of the Indian solar industry, the Union Government had set up the National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) to undertake skill development and R&D in technology areas.
The centre works out of IIT Bombay and conducts classes for engineering students, academia and industrialists.
It has created four training modules and conducts the sessions over a three day period. “Over 250 students were trained at IIT Bombay last year,” Mr Choudhury said.
SEMI India, an industry association representing semi
conductor, micro-electric and photovoltaic segment, was also roped in by the NCPRE to provide academia-industry exposure to students.
It is also involved in training students, and has conducted several sessions across the country, Mr Choudhury told Business Line.
According to him, several colleges have also evinced interest in taking renewable energy as electives in colleges.
“Amity University for instance, has a course in renewable energy, Mr Choudhury said.
Stressing on the importance of involving local people in setting up of projects, Mr Gireesh Pradhan, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), urged the industrial training institutes to conduct courses on renewable energy.
Programmes such as the one in IIT Bombay should be replicated, he added.