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Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent
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Creating Jobs and Income: How Solar Mini-Grids Are Making a Difference in Rural India

Madhura Joshi, Marie McNamara, Akanksha Tyagi, Sameer Kwatra, Neeraj Kuldeep
March 2021 | Renewables

Suggested citation: Joshi, Madhura, Marie McNamara, Akanksha Tyagi, Sameer Kwatra, Neeraj Kuldeep. 2021. Creating Jobs and Income: How Solar Mini-Grids Are Making a Difference in Rural India. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment, and Water; Natural Resources Defense Council; and Skill Council for Green Jobs.

Overview

This case study focuses on Mlinda’s “energy services and development-based” business model to scale DRE in the Indian state of Jharkhand. It outlines how mini-grids can create employment and improve livelihoods and also collates the experiences of other DRE providers.

This study is part of a series which focuses on understanding the ecosystem and employment potential of emerging distributed renewable energy (DRE) technologies.

Key Findings

  • The construction of commissioning of a Mlinda mini-grid takes about 5 months.

Mini-Grid Project Phases and Jobs (for a 25 kW Capacity Mini-Grid)

Mini-Grid Project Phases and Jobs (for a 25 kW Capacity Mini-Grid)

Source: Mlinda data55

  • 986 cumulative jobs have been created by Mlinda’s deployment of 45 community mini-grids (typical capacity between 23-30 kWp) in Jharkhand. These jobs include
    • 180 direct full-time jobs,
    • 131 full-time equivalent jobs from contractual work, and
    • 675 productive-use jobs through additional entrepreneurial activities like solar pumps, rice hullers, wheat mills etc.

Employment Estimates from Mlinda’s Mini-Grid Deployment

Employment Estimates from Mlinda’s Mini-Grid Deployment

Source: NRDC-CEEW-SCGJ estimates based on Mlinda data, 201959
Note: All values are shown as full-time equivalent jobs; the jobs figures in this table represent the number of jobs across Mlinda’s entire mini-grid portfolio (45 mini-grids at the time of this report)

  • An estimated 619,000 to 1,134,000 direct and productive use jobs could be created by adding 1,000 MW of new mini-grid capacity if Mlinda’s business model is replicated
619,000 to 1,134,000 direct and productive use jobs could be created by adding 1,000 MW of new mini-grid capacity if Mlinda’s energy services and development-based business model is replicated.

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