Promoting Solar Water Pumps through the 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), Government of India
Overall term: 2018 to 2024
Access to an adequate supply of irrigation water has a profound impact not just on food security but also on the livelihood of 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 nine million pumps run on diesel. The agriculture sector in India consumes almost 25 per cent of the total power demand and electric pump sets consume electricity equivalent to 85 million tonnes of coal burned per annum, while the existing diesel pumps consume four 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 boost with the announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM). Under the above-mentioned scheme, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) wants to add 30.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2022, which includes the installation of 2 million stand-alone solar pumps. The scheme will be in a position to subsidise solar-powered irrigation pumps for farmers with the option of selling the surplus energy to electricity distribution companies.
The project has facilitated an acceleration in the deployment and adoption of solar water pumps for productive use in a sustainable manner in India. The project has been implemented in a few selected groundwater-rich but energy-poor states in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India.
The project is to follow a dual approach in promoting solar water pumps in a sustainable manner. It will focus on facilitating a policy framework that will enable the roll-out of solar pumps in an environmentally smart model and support the business models that are financially sound and environmentally sustainable. Moreover, the project will also improve the capacity of key institutional stakeholders like financial institutions and agricultural extension workers to increase the deployment of solar water pumps. The dual approach will not only make existing government institutions better able to roll out solar pumps, but will also ensure the installations are done in a climate-smart manner.
Last update: December 2020