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Skills and talent gaps for climate tech companies

Notes by Narsi

Depending on which estimate you wish to believe in, by 2030 India could require anywhere between 1 million and 25 million skilled professionals for its climate tech industry.

I agree that 1-25 is a rather generous range, and if you ask me, I would tend agree with the latter estimate. Estimates done by my consulting team at EAI suggest that the Indian solar power sector alone could currently be employing about 220,000 professionals at all levels, and the renewable energy sector (mainly solar + wind + bio-energy) could be employing about half a million people. Climate tech goes far beyond renewable energy - into energy storage, electric vehicles (current estimate is about 25,000 people), smart agriculture, bio-materials, green chemicals, waste management and more. No reliable estimates exist for the total current employment in the entire climate tech sector, but I make do an inteliigent guess: about 2 million in all.

The overall climate solution economy in India is expected to expand 7-10 times between now and 2030, and you will understand why I feel 25 million by 2030 is a more likely estimate than the paltry 1 million - which, according to me, is just half the total number employed TODAY.

A more important question arises: If the country needs 25 million professionals by 2030, where are these professionals? Will enough professionals have the necessary skills by 2030? Who is taking care of creating and growing this talent pool?

I can tell you one thing. In the Business as Usual scenario, the country will be falling drastically short of the total number of climate tech professionals needed by 2030. This is the case even today, as our Solar Talent division, which helps solar energy companies in India with their recruitments, is witnessing.

Similarly, we recently assisted a leading energy efficiency firm in recruiting engineers and designers for HVAC efficiency for the industrial sector, and found it extremely challenging to find suitable profiles, even in the case when the client was willing to pay excellent compensation.

The climate tech talent gap is staring in our faces. While the government is taking steps in the form of green skills council, Suryamitra courses etc., industry stakeholders have pointed out that these are barely doing justice to the demand-supply gap.

This is a big challenge, and thus a big opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs to step in.

On our part, Climafix along with the consulting team at EAI will be glad to assist or partner with entrepreneurs keen on exploring the climate tech training and skilling opportunity.

I look forward to talking to bright and enterprising entrepreneurs on this.

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