Published: 07th February 2018
Powering the world without choking it can be quite fulfilling
Renewable energy engineers focuses on alternative energy and a clean slate towards making them a widespread reality
Indian aspirations to reduce our carbon footprint in a time bound manner and move on to the path of renewable energy are a crucial driver towards jobs in this sector. With a share of around 15 per cent in the country’s energy generation and a target of 160-170 GW by the year 2022 through wind and solar sources, we may see 25,000-30,000 jobs being generated in this sector by some estimates in the years to come.
Many institutions from across the country offer technology-oriented courses in renewable energy. But the scope for managerial jobs are no less. It will be advisable for students to do real life projects with start-ups and young enterprises, even if they don’t pay any stipend. This will help them learn first-hand the challenges involved in managing the sector. Dealing with states which may buy energy generated from renewable sources will be an important aspect of several jobs in this sector.
Renewing energy: Anil's mission is to expand the global as well as local space for innovations
Thus, the scope for jobs is very wide, not only with large organisations, but also with new start-ups. Most state governments have announced incentives for clean technology, renewables and other related applications. Co-generation is also becoming an important area of focus simply because the results are as good as they are.
Biomass-based energy generating innovative units by grassroots innovators like Raj Singh Dahiya in Jaipur are finding markets in the northeast, which is rich in bamboo and other natural resources. In difficult terrains like mountainous regions, small hydro-power generating sets are finding new markets. Technology students can tie up with them and set up distribution, distributed assembly and other units.
As climate change increasingly presents itself as a reality, renewable energy grows in demand, In light of this growing relevance, a career in this area is becoming the need of the hour. Among the major scientific disciplines, renewable energy will present an important alternative for this world and an economy that is searching for more sustainable alternatives.
If innovators are able to outline a focused course towards this transition, it will be the most sought-after profession to watch out for in the near future
This sector will see a lot of innovations in technologies and also business models in the coming years. Those who opt for a career in this sector will perhaps be the leaders of a very buoyant and growing segment of our economy if they continue to experiment and innovate. Since it is a sunrise sector, the jobs will also be flexible and more challenging. This is a sector for those who wish to pursue a challenging career with immense opportunities for learning, un-learning, experimentation, collaboration and, of course, innovation.
The management of renewable energy will also attract a lot of investment from domestic and global investors. The jobs in this sector can be of both kinds: created by self as well as by others. Either way, the shift from one to another track will not be difficult. It is merely a matter of research and innovation and eventually getting it right in a manner that works. If innovators are able to outline a focused course towards this transition, it will be the most sought-after profession to watch out for in the near future. I hope to see several new models of customer and community engagement emerge in the years to come. That will be a bright day!
(Dr Anil K Gupta is a professor and member of the governing board at the Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is a Padma Shri award winner and is a member of various governmental and non-governmental bodies. He is also the Founder of Honey Bee Network, a group of like-minded individuals, innovators, farmers, scholars, academicians, policy makers, entrepreneurs and non-governmental organisations working towards innovation from the grassroots level. His mission is to expand the global as well as local space for innovations and link ideas in the informal and formal sector. Through the Honey Bee Network, he links technology with the problems of micro, small and medium informal sectors to address unmet social needs, and incorporate technological transitions during the process of innovation)