India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved its solar for farmers scheme that aims to support 25,750MW of solar by 2022 with INR344 billion (~US$4.84 billion) of central government backing.
The programme, known as Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM), which aims to increase farmers’ financial and water security by offering a steady source of income, is broken down into three sections:
- 10GW of decentralised ground-mount PV projects
- 1.75 million standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps
- 1 million grid-connected pumps
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Tuesday approved Rs 46,000 crore for KUSUM and rooftop solar schemes to promote adoption of solar power among farmers and residential sector. While KUSUM scheme for farmers has been allocated Rs 34,422 crore, rooftop solar programme would get Rs 11,814 crore.
The 10GW solar programme will be made up of plants ranging between 500kW to 2MW in size to be set up by individual farmers, cooperatives, panchayats, farmer producer organisations (FPO) on barren or cultivable lands. The power produced will be purchased by distribution companies (Discoms) with feed-in tariffs (FiTs) determined by the respective state regulator (SERC).
Discoms will also be incentivised with INR0.40/kWh (US$0.56 cents) for a period of five years.
Standalone pumps will be supported up to 7.5-HP with solar PV capacity in kW equal to the pump capacity in HP. For the grid-connected pump scheme, again pumps up to 7.5-HP can be solarised, but in this case, the solar PV capacity can be up to two times the pump capacity. The solar power will be used for irrigation with any excess power sold to Discoms.
For the pump schemes, a central government subsidy of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, will be provided. The State Government will then give a subsidy of 30% and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer. A higher central government subsidy of 50% will be provided for North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Also, the scheme is expected to generate newer jobs in the country. The Indian government believes that the scheme will generate 631,000 job years for both skilled and unskilled workers.
A group of tech enthusiasts who are tracking latest developments in CleanTech with special focus on Energy Storage and Electric Mobility