Renewables and Employment

Blowing Hard or Shining Bright? Making Renewable Power Sustainable in India

Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.

Editor's note:

This chapter is a part of Brookings India’s editing book, “Blowing Hard or Shining Bright? Making Renewable Power Sustainable in India”  To view the preface and table of contents, click here.

Chapter Summary:

This chapter makes the case for employment by growing renewables, something even the US focused on during Presidential elections.  More than just the actual number of jobs created (which must be examined in comparison to jobs in with other energy forms, and these are not all the same, e.g., diesel is imported), the quality, safety, and wages can be higher in clean energy than many traditional fuel systems.  One of the flip sides of clean energy jobs is the need for skills upgradation and training, which can be a bottleneck without focused effort and even policy support.   Given the relatively smaller scale of renewable deployments and large role of the private sector, one of the first needs is a consistent database of jobs in the renewable energy space, something which hasn’t been compiled yet.

Sabina Dewan is President and Executive Director of the JustJobs Network – a global research organization finding evidence-based solutions to employment challenges worldwide.  Ms. Dewan is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Her work focuses on the role of quality employment in driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth. She publishes on a range of economic issues, including the impact of free trade agreements on employment and labor enforcement, the job creation impact of investments in renewable energy, and strategies to improve youth employment opportunities and outcomes.