India is one of the countries that has manifested a vast power potential being one of the countries with the highest power radiation. By 2013, the country was the largest producer of electricity with the government becoming more aggressive about its solar power policy. Having said that, there has never been a better time to explore the available job opportunities in the solar energy sector in India.
The Solar Energy Landscape in India
Despite India’s major steps forward in providing energy to its citizens, 800 million Indians still use traditional fuels in their cooking and heating solutions. By implication, there are still ample opportunities when it comes to the provision of energy products and services in India.
For example, Bangalore continues to show high demand for roof top solar heaters. Similarly, solar PV water pumps are used to support sustainable agriculture through irrigation. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides a subsidy of 30 to 40 % subsidy for some types of solar products such as lanterns.
There are various researchers and agencies which have made projections on the future electricity needs in India. For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency says that India will have a higher electricity demand thanks to the country’s fast growing GDP. The country targets to obtain approximately 8,000 billion kWh per year by the year 2052.
Community Solar Power Gaining Traction In India.
At both the residential and commercial level community, solar is an idea that is catching on in many places around the world. Community solar is a large solar array that is built by a developer so that it is located close to many potential customers. In the case of residential or even industrial clients, it is often the case that they want to buy renewable electricity from solar or wind systems, but they do not want to spend their own capital to do it. In this way the community solar develops can presell the electricity from the thier new solar array before it is even built.
Community solar is also becoming popular in India. In this way, an array like the one pictured above could power many different homes in a neighborhood. In fact, you can often assign a certain number of the solar panels themselves to produce power only for you. These systems are connected into what is becoming known as a microgrid.
Solar Energy Job Opportunities in India
One of the most pronounced solar energy position is that of a solar technician.Solar technicians execute the following duties: installing solar panels on roofs, assembling and maintaining solar panels on grids, and application of weather sealing to the power system. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India, periodically offers positions in junior and senior technical solar trainees. Their role includes investigation of solar energy projects, preparation of project reports, and carrying out research related to solar energy.
Other positions available in the solar energy sector includes the following: solar engineer prototype designer, IT designer, Tele marketer, marketing manager, sales manager and officers, accountant, energy intelligence analyst, research fellow, and business development manager.
There are a number of established solar energy companies in India. Welspun Energy is based in New Delhi and is the biggest developer of solar energy solutions in India. ReNew power is a reliable provider of services in solar energy, wind power, and solar rooftop power. Others include Moser Baer Solar Limited and Su-Kam Power Systems.
Like in most of other fields, solar energy jobs in India are not immune to competition. It is not uncommon to find Indian and foreign companies in India requiring a Bachelor of Technology or Bachelor of Engineering. Other relevant qualifications include advanced postgraduate diploma and a diploma in renewable energy with a bias in solar energy.
In more senior positions, having a graduate degree is an added advantage.
Other ways of acquiring the necessary qualification in solar energy jobs including enrolling for the relevant online courses, on the job training that can last from as short as one month to as long as one year, training provided by systems manufacturers as part of their marketing strategy, and taking an apprenticeships in any field related to electricity.
What an opportunity!
Securing a solar energy job is not just any other opportunity to earn a living. Rather, it is one of the most satisfying jobs that one can have. This is because one is contributing to sustainable development of a country. By extension, one feels proud to be part of the global efforts in going green and promoting environmental preservation.
There are many solar energy job opportunities that can be exploited in India. However, it is paramount that one tailored the courses based on the general topic of renewable energy and consequently develop a niche in solar energy. Monitoring the emerging trends manifests the willingness to join the solar energy sector. Most importantly, the willingness and ability to take lower ranked positions such as internships will give one the much needed entry point, skills, and experience to take higher positions available in the solar energy sector in India.
Coal still remains the single largest source of energy for India, and the level of air pollution and respiratory related deaths is directly attributed to this reality. However, as more of the population moves to the middle class the demand for clean energy is increasing. History teaches us that you cannot continue to pollute the air in cities is a civilization is to survive.
As this realization grows the pressure is mounting to move the country away from coal and natural gas to solar and wind energy. This shift in the demand is fueling an explosion of jobs in the renewable energy industry. These are very high paying jobs and compared to coal mining and power generation, they are careers that you would want for your self and your children. In this way, the renewable energy revolution will completely change this huge country and provide millions of great jobs that pay a living way and that makes people happy to get out of bed everyday and go to work.
India Solar Resources Are The Most Precious Resource.
The truth is that India’s climate and average available sunlight has access to a vast almost unlimited amount of free solar power. Properly harnessed and managed this power should be able to ensure sufficient energy for all of their economic needs thousands of years into the future.
Solar Energy Jobs Come From The Sun!
These solar resources make it possible and feasible to use not only solar photovoltaic technology but also concentrated solar thermal generation.
Concentrated solar thermal generation as the name implies uses not the sunlight but the concentrated heat of the sun to heat a working fluid that is used to turn a turbine attached to an electric generator. It is in many ways similar to hydropower or coal heated steam generation except that the heat source is the sun.
The advantage of using solar generated heat to make electricity is that you can easily store the heat so that it can be used to make electricity at night, thereby eliminating the need for batteries or diesel base load generators. The technology is relatively simple in design, very scalable and uses materials and components that are very common around the world. In a country like India so rich with solar resources, concentrated solar thermal power plants could be quickly erected around the most rural areas, providing clean electricity to the farms and cities. It would be possible to completely move the country off of coal power to solar power. See the photo below of a solar thermal power generator made by an American company, Solar Reserve. They have units running in Nevada and have just announced a new project to build one in South Australia.
Imagine what social change this would bring! So we know that the age of unsustainable power must by definition come to an end and the sun is ready to provide all of our power needs for as long as we are on earth. This is a great time to deciding on a future career path in countries like India as the opportunities for people that see them are incredible.
I hope that this small page has been informative for you and that if you live in India you will soon find the solar powered future that you deserve.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.