This report presents the results of the first annual jobs census for the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector, which includes a range of solutions that allow for generation and distribution of clean electricity at or near end-user communities. Scaling this sector, now widely acknowledged as a critical part of rural electrification and universal energy access , requires a skilled, engaged workforce. With adequate policy and financial support, the DRE sector could contribute directly to ameliorating high unemployment in emerging economies and least developed countries (LDCs).
However, little data exists to support such targeted policy. Power for All thus conducted an inaugural jobs census in 2018, which captures DRE employment data from 2017, to establish a baseline that explores the linkage between clean, universal energy access, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, and decent work, SDG 8, with a particular focus on the role of DRE technologies. Based on survey findings, this report explains the current DRE workforce landscape, from employment estimates to skills needs, and lays the groundwork for raising awareness about the available jobs in energy access, and the need to build a strong workforce that has access to decent work and social protection.
The survey explores companies working across a wide range of DRE technologies in three low energy access countries: India, Kenya, and Nigeria. Together, they represent different sizes and stages of DRE market development. The DRE technologies covered in scope include pico-solar appliances, solar home systems (SHS), standalone and grid-tied commercial and industrial systems, mini-grids, and productive use systems such as solar water pumps. The survey covered DRE companies working in off-grid and weak-grid contexts. By surveying companies directly working with DRE technologies, the resulting analysis draws clear, quantitative insights into employment in the DRE sector, including the quality of compensation, women and youth representation, and key skills demands. Key stakeholders across India, Kenya, and Nigeria also participated in focus groups to discuss their experiences and develop recommendations based on the data.
Download the report below.