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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) jointly organized two Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDPs) training to spread awareness on the business and employment generation potential of the solar PV rooftop sector in India.

The first five-day residential training programme, organized in partnership with the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), was held on May 16–20, 2016 in Gurgaon. The second EDP was organized on July 25–29, 2016 in Pune, in partnership with the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) and Arbutus Consultants Ltd. Both training programmes focussed on providing an integrated approach to developing capacity of budding entrepreneurs in solar PV rooftop. The Government of India has set an aggressive target of 40 GW of capacity addition for solar PV rooftop by 2022. The distributed nature of solar PV rooftop projects requires decentralized design, development and deployment, which in turn provides several opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups, engineers and managers implementing these projects, to create local value and employment across India. Industry reports suggest that the solar PV rooftop sector itself could generate around 5.5 lakh jobs over the next ten years.

Focussing on the market demand for trained solar rooftop professionals, Dr Praveen Saxena, CEO, Skill Council for Green Jobs, said, “There is a critical need for skilled manpower across the entire value chain of solar rooftop. Training programmes will not only provide the know-how to the existing solar professionals but also encourage entrepreneurs to enter the solar PV rooftop sector.”

The two EDP trainings allowed the entrepreneurs and start-ups to understand different aspects of the solar PV technology, business, finance, and implementation issues. While nearly 40 trainees across 12 states were provided training in the first EDP in Gurgaon, about 60 participants attended the second EDP held in Pune. Both training programmes comprised 20 technical sessions and a site visit to a solar rooftop installation for live demonstration. The Pune EDP also had a case study approach wherein the participants had the opportunity of making their own presentations on different aspects related to business development. Speaking at the inaugural session of the first EDP, Dr O S Sastry, Director General, NISE, said, “The Entrepreneurship Development Program will help develop local financial, technical and managerial capacity that is required to develop top quality solar rooftop projects and meet the Government’s target of 40 GW.”

Source : Akshay Urja Magazine, MNRE

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