As India’s growth story continues to add new chapters, it opens up a plethora of opportunities for young Indians to start up their own ventures. The progress of this country will largely depend on its ability to generate and supply a steady source of sustainable energy, which makes solar-energy business a great opportunity for young entrepreneurial Indians. The good news is — the government and other committed stakeholders are actively working to build the necessary infrastructure and ecosystem that can foster India’s growth in the field of sustainable energy.
The future of solar energy in India has the sun shining on it
With an average of 300 sunny days a year, India’s land mass receives 5000 trillion Kilowatt-hours (5 EWh/yr) worth of energy from the sun, which brightens the future of solar energy in India. The solar-energy business is therefore a great avenue for those looking to start their own venture in renewable energy. The good news is — major stakeholders are working together to convert this possibility into a great success story for Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India)!
On that note, the Indian government has committed US $223 billion to renewable energy, with plans for half of the country’s energy to be supplied by non-fossil fuels by 2030. Speaking at an energy forum in Sydney in July 2022, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh said, “We shall emerge, after China, as the biggest manufacturing center for high-efficiency solar cells and modules.”
Making the future of solar energy in India Atmanirbhar (self-reliant)
The growth of this sustainable energy landscape cannot thrive solely on the government’s shoulders but needs the support and investment from other major players, such as Industry, NGOs, and most importantly, individuals.
Schneider Electric, as an Impact Company, is working closely with other key players in the country to set up labs to train individuals. For them, this initiative is part of a much bigger picture. The company’s ambitious sustainability commitments, which are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, include a drive to support 10,000 entrepreneurs around the globe to get their businesses off the ground, by training 1 million young people and 10,000 trainers worldwide, by 2025.
Watch this short video to find out more about Schneider Electric’s commitment through its Access to Energy program.
Associations that are facilitating an ecosystem for solar energy business at the grassroots level
For the solar energy business ecosystem to grow, there has to be a robust support system that trains individuals and empowers them to start their own businesses. As a major step toward that direction, Schneider Electric inked an agreement with the Art of Living Foundation in September 2021, to provide teaching and electrical training support across 20 locations, nationwide. Together, they have also built a state-of-the-art solar energy research, technology and training center at Sri University in Odisha.
The foundation’s Center of Excellence in Bangalore provides technical skills to young entrepreneurs and helps them forge careers in renewable energy technologies, such as solar. By 2025, the Art of Living Center for Excellence aims to train more than 1,400 people, including 200 women. Much of the equipment and technical support that powers the center is provided by Schneider Electric, through its Access to Energy program.
Schneider Electric has equipped the Center with a solar AC microgrid laboratory, an advanced solar laboratory, a digital classroom, an advanced electrical laboratory, an industrial automation laboratory, and a rooftop solar power plant. The courses include training for industrial-scale installation and automation of solar technology.
The organization also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sri Sri Rural Development Programme Trust (SSRDPT) to provide training courses on the installation and repair of solar panels and appliances. With new courses opening every three months, and with 50 students in each enrollment, the partnership will train 200 students each year.
Speaking about Schneider Electric’s commitment and the collaboration with SSRDPT, Gwenaelle Avice-Huet, Schneider Electric’s Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer said in one of her LinkedIn posts:
“With a dedicated target to train 350,000 youths by 2025, and now nearly 7K trainees are women! It is very encouraging to see more women trainees get empowered. Sri Sri Rural Development Program Trust (SSRDPT) training center is a great example to demonstrate how we bring innovations, skills, knowledge, and technologies to youths.”
Seeds of excellence bear fruits of excellence
The robust framework of upskilling that the stakeholders have built has already started bearing fruit. Sharath Chandra, a graduate of the Art of Living Center of Excellence, has successfully launched Solarth, one of the renewable energy companies in India. 30% of Solarth’s workforce are graduates from the Art of Living, center of excellence and Sharath further plans to hire 25 – 30 solar technicians from the center, by end of 2023.
Is your organization looking to create an impact on India’s journey to sustainability and resiliency? Visit Schneider Electric’s page on Access to Energy to learn more about the organization’s commitments and explore ways to collaborate.