- India has approved central financial assistance (CFA) of INR 334.22 billion ($4.69 billion) for the farming community to adopt solar under KUSUM scheme
- Divided into 3 components, the scheme aims for 25.75 GW of solar power capacity by the year 2022
- Under component A, 1 GW of capacity will be implemented
- Component C wants to see 100,000 grid connected agriculture pump in pilot mode
- Component B, on the other hand, will be implemented in full-fledged manner, aiming for installation of 75 million standalone solar powered agriculture pumps
India will be looking at adding 25.75 GW of solar power capacity by the year 2022 under the aegis of the Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme which loosely translates into a campaign for energy security and support of farmers.
Through financial and water security to be provided under the scheme, the government also aims to bring down the use of diesel for farming related work and also save in terms of foreign exchange due to reduction in the import of crude oil.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now approved central financial assistance (CFA) of INR 334.22 billion ($4.69 billion) for the KUSUM scheme.
The KUSUM program has been divided into 3 components to achieve the 25.75 GW target by 2022:
Component A: Installation of 10,000 MW of decentralized ground mounted grid connected renewable energy plants. Renewable power plants of 500 kW to 2 MW capacity will be set up by individual farmers, cooperatives, panchayats (village councils), farmer producer organizations (FPO) on their own barren or cultivable lands. Electricity distribution companies (discoms) will purchase power generated at feed-in-tariff (FIT) determined by the respective state electricity regulatory commission (SERC). It is aimed at opening a stable and continuous source of income to the rural land owners.
Component B: Installation of 75 million standalone solar powered agriculture pumps by individual farmers with capacity of up to 7.5 horse power (HP). PV capacity in kW equal to the pump capacity in HP is allowed under the scheme.
Component C: Solarization of 1 million grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps by individual farmers with capacity up to 7.5 HP. Solar PV capacity up to 2 times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme.
To start with, 1 GW of capacity will be implemented in a pilot mode and 100,000 grid connected agriculture pumps through Components A and C, respectively. Thereafter, on success of the pilot run the program will be scaled up. Component B, on the other hand, will be implemented in a full-fledged manner.
In August 2018, a whitepaper from Greenpeace, Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Water Policy Research Program claimed the KUSUM scheme alone has the potential to revolutionize agriculture practices in India and the way in which India moves towards the solar goal of 100 GW by 2022. If all of agricultural consumption across India were to be replaced with net metered solar pumps, the country would surpass 40 GW distributed solar goal and achieve in total close to 150 GW (see Farmtops For Solar In India).
The committee has also approved CFA of INR 118 billion ($1.66 billion) for phase-II of grid connected rooftop solar program for residential segment (see India Approves Financial Aid For Rooftop Solar Ph-II).