Indo-German Energy Programme - Promotion of Solar Water Pumps
Title: Indo-German Energy Programme - Promotion of Solar Water Pumps
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022
Access to adequate supply of irrigation water has a profound impact not just on food security but also on the livelihood of the farmers in India. While 50 per cent of the rural population is either directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, only 45 per cent of the net sown area in India is irrigated and the remaining 55 per cent is completely rain fed. Of the 28 million irrigation pumps currently operating in India, 19 million are grid connected pumps while the other 9 million pumps run on diesel. The agriculture sector in India consumes almost 25 per cent of the total power demand and the electric pump sets consume electricity equivalent to 85 million tonnes of coal burned per annum, while the existing diesel pumps consume 4 billion litres per annum. Solar-powered irrigation pumps offer significant opportunities to facilitate irrigation access in an environmentally-sustainable manner and can also play a key role in improving the livelihoods of farmers.
The solar pump market in India received a significant push with the announcement of the Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM). Under the above mentioned scheme, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) wants to add 25,750 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity by 2022 which includes the installation of 1.75 million stand-alone solar pumps. The scheme has the option of subsidising solar powered irrigation pumps for farmers with the option of selling the surplus energy to electricity distribution companies.
The project facilitates the acceleration in deployment and adoption of solar water pumps for productive use in a sustainable manner in India. The project is implemented in a few selected ground water rich but energy poor states in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India.
The project will follow a dual approach for the promotion of solar water pumps in a sustainable manner. It will focus on facilitating the enabling policy framework to roll out solar pumps in an environmentally smart model and support the business models which are financially sound and environmentally sustainable. Moreover, the project will also strengthen the capacity of the key institutional stakeholders like financial institutions and agricultural extension workers for increased deployment of solar water pumps. The dual approach will strengthen the existing government institutions to roll out solar pumps while at the same time, ensuring the installations are done in a climate smart manner.