SESI: Workforce Development to Sustain Growth Projections of Renewable Energy
Friday, 03. November 2023
12:00 to 1:30pm
The Workshop duration is 1:30 hours.

SESI: Workforce Development to Sustain Growth Projections of Renewable Energy

1. The world over, there are agreements to reach net zero status in next couple of decades. This is giving rise to a great momentum for installations of renewable energy at a scale as a potent means of reducing carbon emissions, largely from energy sector, but spreading to many other sectors in the background of growing interest in developing and using green hydrogen. The cumulative deployment of wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the world have crossed 900 GW and 1000 GW respectively and as per the prevailing trend a rapid increase in the installed capacity is expected in near future. Consequently, the need and demand for workforce in the renewable energy sector is expected to increase considerably.

2. Workforce is expected to be required at different levels of activities/services– researchers, design engineers, project developers, EPC contractors, operation and maintenance service providers, project developers, financing experts, policy makers etc. With increasing penetration of e-vehicles in the transport sector and also increased deployment of power plants based on variable and intermittent renewable sources of energy, the need for grid integration, energy storage and demand response modalities would also become critically important. Moreover, with immense pressure for fast paced energy transition at global level, the relevance of circular economy principles and approaches needs to be synergized with initiatives at large scale deployment of renewable energy technologies. A somewhat different and new kind of manpower would also be required to meet the knowledge and skill required by the energy sector in future. It would be of great value to have brainstorming by the distinguished panelists on the potential employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector with corresponding requirements for academic programs at different levels.

3. The associate challenge is to understand comprehensively the opinions and perspectives of different stakeholders pertaining to their requirement of workforce. For example, it is critical to understand the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of the manpower requirement of the industry, with clarity about the required competencies as well as the level of preparedness of the workforce needed by the renewable energy industry. Similarly, the challenges in imparting meaningful and directly relevant renewable energy education and training in academic institutions within the overall constraints of program duration, earned credit requirements etc. also need to be understood.

4. Also, there is a continuous need of skill upgradation (Re-skilling, upskilling) of the existing workforce for better efficiency and also keeping pace with latest developments in renewable energy technology manufacture, installation, site selection, operation and maintenance etc. This would enable movement of the existing workforce in conventional energy sectors towards appropriate professional career trajectories.

5. Another key aspect of renewable energy dissemination is the adequate knowledge and clear understanding of the issues involved on the part of the policy makers, regulators and other decision makers and government officials of various agencies directly or indirectly involved in development and deployment of renewable energy technologies. Their perspectives regarding renewable energy education and training requirements as well as its possible and feasible modalities is likely to have direct impact on the workforce development and consequently its availability.

In this backdrop, this 90-minute side event provides a platform to have free-wheeling but focused discussions on various such issues and opine on the strategy and way forward which may comprise curricula based education and training as well as other appropriate models for development of quality workforce in time bound manner to sustain ambitions of accelerated growth of the renewable energy sector. The discussions also required to deal with the concerns about the lack of gender diversity in the energy sector workforce.  

The session is structured to have opening remarks by the Chair to set the tone of discussions, followed by interventions from the Panelists as called by the Chair. Subsequently, the Chair may like to put questions to the panelists to further provide focus to the discussions. The session would then be opened to the participants for their feedback/suggestions/questions.




Prof. Rangan Banerjee - Moderator

Prof. Rangan Banerjee has done his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and his Ph.D from IIT Bombay.  He had a few years of experience at Cadbury’s TERI Engineers India Ltd. before joining the faculty at IIT Bombay in 1993.  He has helped to set up a Department of Energy Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay and was its first Head.  He has been involved in several projects for industry on energy efficiency, renewables and modelling.  He has been the Dean (R&D) at IIT Bombay and was responsible for several new initiatives for research infrastructure, industry consortia and centres, technology transfer and licensing and supporting  student research.

He was involved in setting up a Megawatt Scale Solar Thermal Power  Plant cum test Facility Sponsored by MNRE.  He was the faculty advisor of Team Shunya- a student team that represented India in Solar Decathlon Europe, China and the US and built houses running on solar energy.

He has advised the city of Mumbai the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, MNRE, Planning Commission and the Niti Aayog on energy related issues.  He was a lead author of the Global Energy Assessment Coordinated by the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis and was a member of the International Review Committee for the RCUK Review of UKs Energy programme.

Since 2022 February , he is the Director of IIT Delhi and a professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering.

He has been awarded the excellence in Teaching award at IIT Bombay and is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He has also been an Adjunct Professor (Honorary) in the department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Paulette Middleton

For me the ultimate vision is a world where people are living in harmony with each other and with nature. I have a 50-year professional career in energy and environmental issues with expertise in air quality and climate change science; program management and strategic planning; stakeholder dialogues aimed at policy development; and communication through diverse media. As an atmospheric chemist (PhD Chemistry 1973 University of Texas) specializing in scientific integrated socio-economic-environmental impact assessments that support decision making at regional and international levels, I have held leadership/executive positions at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany, Science & Policy Associates, Inc., and RAND. More recently, I have been an environment/energy advisor to diverse organizations through my company Panorama Pathways ( Since 1990, I have been Global Emissions Initiative (GEIA) coordinator. In the early 2000, I began working with the International Solar Energy Society and its US section the American Solar Energy Society on accelerating the transformation to a sustainable and equitable renewable energy world for All where energy is used efficiently and wisely. Part of my efforts relate to creating a strong workforce that is an intimate component of the successful transformation. I am particularly passionate about JEDI (justice-equity-diversity-inclusion advocacy), sustainable living, and kindness as guiding principles to all of our work.

Dr. Vasanta V Thakur

Dr. Vasanta V Thakur is currently engaged as a scientist at Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and involved in implementation of Human Resource Developmental programmes focussed on development of qualified man power through renewable energy fellowship programme and skilled manpower through skill development programmes such as suryamitra, vayumitra varunmitra, Jalurjamitra and other skill developmental activities for RE sector. she was also involved in implementation of biofuel policy, R&D programme on Biofuels and Bioenergy Mission etc. She has over 20 years of R&D experience in various fields like development, industrial application of various enzymes and transfer of enzyme technologies and Bioethanol production from agri residues etc. She has handled more than 15 R& D projects from various national and international funding agencies and author/co-author of 30 national and international papers and conducted various onsite and offsite training programmes as part of her R & D assignment in R & D Institute under M/o Industry. She received M.Sc & M.Phil degree with Gold medal and doctorate with UGC fellowship.

Ramesh Kumar Kuruppath

Chief of Unit (Programme & Projects Implementation Cluster), International Solar Alliance (ISA

International Solar Alliance, an inter-Governmental global organization with 116 signatory countries, is facilitating Countries to accelerate solar and making solar a preferred choice of energy.

Currently heading the Programme & Projects Implementation Cluster in ISA. Working with ISA since 2019 and has been spearheading Programme & Projects Implementation across 43 Countries and capacity building across 82 Countries. The focus is on Countries in global south and ISA has been supporting them to achieve universal energy access, energy security and energy transition, leading to  a sustainable global growth & future. Already created a pipeline of Solar capacities of 9.5. GW across various Countries & various solar applications and trained professionals close to 4000. Solar Technology Demonstration Projects are being set up in 27 LDC/SIDS Countries and Projects in 8 Countries have been already commissioned.

Previously worked in Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), New Delhi, during 2013-2018 as head of Solar division, had played a crucial role in implementation various Government Programs in India. Was part of development of multiple Solar Parks in India which played a key role in bringing down the cost of solar below conventional power and was part of Indian solar Growth story.

Has been part of NTPC since 1988, a Government of India Company, a global power giant having an installed Powerplant capacity over 67 GW including Solar, Wind etc. Worked in various capacities in NTPC up to the level of General Manager which include Thermal, Hydro, solar Power Plant. Has rich experience in Planning, Monitoring, Construction, and Commissioning of Power plans with more than 35 years of experience in Power sector including solar.

Dr. Rashi Gupta

Dr. Rashi Gupta embarked on a transformative journey with a revolutionary vision to reshape the energy technology landscape, particularly in the realm of energy storage applications. A pioneering force in the domain of Advanced Cell chemistry within the Lithium Storage Batteries sector, she has emerged as an indomitable presence. Her voyage toward innovation led her to conceptualize and produce the "World's Smartest Lithium Battery" right here in India, a feat that earned her the endearing moniker 'Batterywali of India'. As the visionary Founder and Managing Director of Vision Mechatronics Private Ltd, she remains steadfast in her commitment to steer the vanguard of Renewable Energy, Robotics, and Energy Storage technology. Dr. Gupta has not only pioneered technological advancement but has also etched her name prominently within India's Renewable Energy Sector. Recognized as Asia’s Most Influential Woman in Renewable Energy (2020) and bestowed with the "Corporate Guru World Award 2021" for her outstanding contributions to SDG5 & SDG7, she is an unwavering advocate of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment on a global scale. Her resolute dedication to sustainable development, with a focal point on SDGs 5, 7, and 13, has earned her accolades such as the "Global Women Leadership 2021" and her inclusion among the inaugural "First 50 Women in STEM by CII 2021". Dr. Gupta's ascendancy continues to soar as she secures her place among the "Top 40 Global Women Leaders in Energy Storage 2022". Her profound impact on the CleanTech arena has been recognized with the prestigious "Visionary CleanTech Disruptor (Tony Seba Distinction) Award 2022". Her influence reverberates on an international scale as a Council Member of the Council of Engineers on the Energy Transition (CEET), an esteemed Independent Advisory Council to the United Nations Secretary-General. Dr. Gupta champions "Energy justice" and "Energy equality" through pioneering initiatives like rural electrification, thereby ensuring equitable access to clean and sustainable energy for rural schools in India. A standout example is the transformation she has brought to a primary school in Katavaram, Andhra Pradesh.

Praveen Saxena

Dr Praveen Saxena is Chief Executive Officer, Skill Council for Green Jobs , Skill India Mission. Dr Saxena superannuated as Advisor in Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Director General of National Institute of Solar Energy  in 2015. Academically established with an M.Sc. (Gold Medal) and Ph.D in Physics from Delhi University, he moved to National Physics Laboratory, New Delhi as scientist (1980-1983). Having joined Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in 1983, Dr Saxena spearheaded several Government Programs for Small-hydro, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind, Rural Electrification and Policy planning for at Centre. Dr Saxena has been UNIDO Consultant on Small-hydro for Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to developed integrated plan to develop small hydro in these countries.

Dr. Saxena is an International expert with enriched experience of providing leadership and  strategic vision on energy policy issues , conceptualizing and supervising  institutions and network of energy technology centers; overseeing formulation of a strong  portfolio of Solar and Small hydro programmes; consultancy to other countries on development of renewable sources of energy; planning and coordinating with in-house as well as multi/bilateral partners on energy; promoting knowledge management through publications in international journals , networking & capacity building and research and development. Dr Saxena was conferred with the International Business Leadership Innovation Excellence Award by Institute of Economic Studies, Government of Malaysia in the year 2017. He has over 50 research publications in international journals, and has represented India’s interests in Renewable Energy in various multilateral organizations and International forums.

Tara C. Kandpal

 Dr. Tara C. Kandpal  is presently an Emeritus Professor with the Department of Energy Science and Engineering of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India. Dr. Kandpal has been involved in teaching and research in the field of solar energy for over 40 years. His primary areas of interest are Solar thermal utilization, techno-economics of renewable energy technologies, and  renewable energy education. He has had the privilege of  being closely associated with the designing and implementing of several academic programmes in the field of renewable energy.