• The Chairman of Gujarat Energy Development Agency, Ishwar Bhavsar, has stated that India would need 1 million skilled technicians for the country to achieve rooftop PV target of 40 GW by 2022
  • Skilled technicians are important as end users hardly have knowledge about solar technology
  • Government is tackling this challenge through interstate and public-private coordination to train technicians who then train others

India will need at least 1 million technicians, among various other measures, to be able to move smoothly towards achieving its targeted 40 GW capacity of rooftop solar PV by 2022, according to the Chairman of Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), Ishwar Bhavsar.

A recent report by clean energy consultancy Bridge to India emphasized that India’s rooftop PV market holds great potential, but its contribution to the overall solar capacity addition in the country only stands at 10% to 12% (see Good Prospects For Rooftop Solar In India). Yet it seems that popularizing the solar rooftop concept among common people is proving to be its Achilles’ Heel in India’s solar plans.

Bhavsar believes that absence or shortage of skilled technicians in the field is an important issue to consider at a time when there is little awareness among end users regarding rooftop PV. At a recent event under the National Certification Programme for Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Installers, he said that rooftop solar technology is a challenging sector owing to its distributed and techno-social nature.

Regarding Gujarat’s rooftop PV sector, Bhavsar was quoted by Indian business newspaper The Hindu Business Line as saying, “In spite of both central and state-level subsidies, we are still facing teething problems and the state’s residential rooftop solar programme has not taken off as expected.”

The Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI), has partnered with 100 training institutes across India, wherein technicians are trained in rooftop PV technology. These technicians come from several state nodal agencies, distribution companies, solar industry and training institutes. Once they get requisite training, these instructors go back to their respective organizations and train other technicians back home, according to the newspaper report.