India plans 50,000 strong solar army

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The government plans to train 50,000 people in areas related to solar power in order to create a solar army, which would help India achieve ambitious targets in harnessing the power of the sun.

Organisations such as the industrial training institutes (ITI) will train the workforce under government’s national skill development mission. The solar generation capacity of India stands at 2,900 MW and was set to achieve 20,000 MW by 2022, however, the NDA government substantially revised this target and has raised it to 100,000 MW. This would require an investment of around Rs.6.5 trillion over five years.

According to a government official, “For us to achieve this ambitious target there will be a requirement of land, labour and capital. This 50,000-strong solar army will be provided three to six months training in the solar energy related areas, which will also prepare them for the job opportunities that the sector will have to offer.”

Of India’s installed power generation capacity of 2,54,049.49 MW, renewable power has a share of only 12.47 percent, or 31,692.14 MW. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change recommends that the country generate 10 percent of its power from solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources by 2015, and 15 percent by 2020.

Skill development is a focus area of the government and the Skilling India mission plans to train 500 million people by 2022 that the government believes would provide a job-ready workforce to several industries.

India launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in 2010, which earlier had plans to add 20,000MW of grid-connected solar power to the?country’s energy mix by 2022 in three phases.

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