What are the objectives and features of the KUSUM scheme ? How can it help the government improve water and energy efficiency in the country ?
KUSUM stands for Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) and seeks to promote the use of solar energy among farmers. It aims to provide extra income to farmers by providing them the options to sell to grid, with solar power projects being setup on barren lands.
The scheme aims to add solar and renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. It will provide a stable and continuous source of income to rural land owners for a period of 25 years.
The solar pumps will help save the expenditure incurred on diesel for running diesels pumps and provide farmers a reliable source of irrigation through solar pump apart from harmful cause of pollution.
Three components of the scheme
Component A aims at setting up 10,000 MW decentralised ground solar or renewable power plant.
Component B involves the introduction of 17.5 lac standalone solar agriculture pumps off up to 7.5 HP.
Component C aims at solarisation of 10 lac grid connected agriculture pumps at individual farms.
Component A promotes distributed solar energy. One of its key advantage is that the production and consumption of electricity can occur at the same location thereby reducing T&D losses and utilising existing electrical distribution infrastructure.
Component C of KUSUM promotes grid connected solar for agricultural service connections. The solar energy generated can meet the irrigation needs while the surplus energy will be injected into the grid. Discoms will purchase the excess power from the farmer at a rate decide by the respective state.
A third party can also invest in the solar system to sell solar energy to discom. To make it acceptable to the farmer, a solar farmer incentive can be introduced to reduce water and electricity and water consumption.
Converging the KUSUM scheme with ongoing micro-irrigation and efficient pump schemes present an opportunity to improve efficient water and energy usage.