Employment opportunities in India’s renewable energy sector are going to almost double by 2022, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

“The Council on Energy Environment and Water and the National Research Development Corporation project that utility and park scale PV (photovoltaic) projects through 2022 could create 58,000 direct jobs (in India),” IRENA said in its Annual Review 2017 for Renewable Energy and Jobs.

IRENA estimates that employment in India’s renewable energy sector has grown to 60,500 in 2016 from 48,000 jobs in 2015.

However, the report also states that while domestic installers fared well, manufacturers continued to struggle. At the end of 2016, at least a third of India’s module capacity (8 GW) and half of cell capacity (2.8 GW) remained idle. Indian-made modules are about 10 per cent more expensive than Chinese imports, which account for the bulk of installed panels.

Globally, the renewable energy sector employed 9.8 million people, directly and indirectly, in 2016. Employment in renewable energy, excluding large hydropower, increased by 2.8 per cent to reach 8.3 million in 2016, with China, Brazil, the US, India, Japan and Germany being the leading job markets.

The report also noted that renewable energy employment continued to shift toward Asian countries, which together accounted for 62 per cent of jobs in 2016, compared with 50 per cent in 2013.

China has benefited from this transition, increasing its share of global jobs from 41 per cent in 2013 to 44 per cent in 2016.