Solar home systems created 1.37 lakh jobs: report | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 30, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 AM, September 30, 2020

Solar home systems created 1.37 lakh jobs: report

With a ray of hope, Bangladesh's solar energy industry's 5.8 million decentralised solar home systems have  created around 137,400 jobs, said the International Renewable Energy  Agency (IRENA).

"Although  most Bangladeshi solar jobs are in sales, installation and maintenance,  some 10,000 people are also employed in module assembly," said the  global intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their  transition to a sustainable energy future.

IRENA reported these findings in its "Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2020" published yesterday. The report says that worldwide employment in renewable energy was estimated at 11.5  million in 2019, up from 11 million in 2018.

Bangladesh's  current renewable energy capacity stands at 648.95 megawatt  (MW). Of which solar technology accounts for 415.02 MW, according to  Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA). Of this, about 327.14 megawatt comes from off-grid power sources while on-grid solar accounts for 87.88 megawatt.

"We have already installed more than 5.8 million home solar systems and  this year another few lakh more will be installed in  remote village areas with little access to electricity, as the  government plans to provide electricity to every home," Mohammad  Alauddin, chairman of SREDA told The Daily Star yesterday.   However despite the success, Bangladesh is lagging behind from its goal, set a decade ago, to have about 10 percent of total electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

"That target has proved to be unachievable. Currently, less than three percent electricity comes from renewable sources," he said.

IRENA's director-general Francesco La  Camera said, "While  today we see a handful of countries in the lead, each country can  harness its renewable potential, take steps to leverage local  capabilities for industrial development, and train workers."

According  to the annual review, most jobs have been created in a small number of  countries, but employment benefits are showing up more widely,  especially through the deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV)  technologies.

Although  precise estimates remain scarce, off-grid decentralised renewables are  creating a growing number of jobs, while also propelling employment in  productive uses ranging from agro-processing and health care to  communications and commerce in local communities, the report added.

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