Target for Renewable Energy in Agriculture Sector
Central government has set the target to replace diesel with renewable energy in agricultural sector by 2024.
- This target was set in line with Government’s commitment of increasing the share of non-fossil fuels by 2030 and becoming a net zero emitter by 2070.
- Through KUSUM Scheme, central government is also running a scheme to solarise the agriculture This would help in installing solar-run irrigation systems.
PM-KUSUM scheme was announced in Budget 2018, and was approved in 2019. It is dubbed as “Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme”. Under the scheme, farmers are given option to sell additional power, generated through solar power projects installed on their barren lands, to the grid. The scheme seeks to add a solar capacity of 30.8 GW by 2022.
Components of PM-KUSUM
PM-KUSUM comprises of three components:
- Component-A: It includes decentralised, ground-mounted and grid-connected renewable power plants of 10,000 MW capacity.
- Component-B: It provides for installation of two million standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps.
- Component-C: It provides for solarisation of 1.5 million grid-connected solar-powered agriculture pumps.
Significance of the Scheme
- The scheme supports the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing subsidy burden to agriculture sector.
- It helps state governments in reducing their subsidy outlay towards irritation by promoting decentralised solar power production and reducing transmission losses. It also helps states in meeting the renewable purchase obligation targets.
- Farmers are incentivised to save power, as farmers will be able to sell surplus powers. It means reasonable and efficient use of groundwater. Thus, it also provides water security to farmers through assured water sources using solar water pumps.
- The scheme has resulted into expansion of irrigation cover by providing decentralized solar-based irrigation. Thus, it has eliminated the use of polluting diesel.
What are the concerns?
- Domestic availability of solar pumps is an issue.
- Scheme has eliminated small and marginal farmers, as it focuses on pumps with 3 HP and more capacities. Solar pumps are not reaching to majority of small and marginal farmers.