Here’s What PM KUSUM Scheme is All about
lubi solar       August 13, 2019
In order to promote solar-powered irrigation pumps in the country, the Government of India has rolled out its mega scheme for farmers known as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme.
Under this scheme, the Central Government will provide a total of about Rs 34,422 crore as financial assistance to add 25,750 MW of solar capacity by 2022.
The motive behind PM KUSUM Yojaya is to provide relief to farmers both in terms of financial security as well as water access by generating electricity through solar energy at their agricultural fields. The scheme also aimed to promote clean energy by replacing existing diesel water pumps with solar water pumps.
Earlier, KUSUM scheme was announced by the former Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget speech for FY 18-19.
This scheme will bring a ray of hope for specially those farmers who are mostly dependent on seasonal rains for irrigation purposes and sometimes their crops were destroyed due to lack of rain or heavy rains. Under PM KUSUM Yojana, such farmers can install solar panels and water pumps at their agricultural farms for irrigation purposes. They can even sell their excess electricity generated, through solar panels, to distribution companies (Discoms) and earn additional income.
Currently, there are more than 3 crore agricultural pumps installed in the country, including 1 crore diesel-based pumps. The government is planning to replace, through PM KUSUM Scheme, all diesel-based agricultural pumps with solar-powered water pumps. It also targeted to solarize all grid connected agricultural pumps, i.e. 2 crore, as they consume over 17 percent of India’s total annual power consumption. The solarisation of these pumps not only reduces dependence on conventional sources of energy supplied by Discoms but also help Discoms in reducing their subsidy burden on agricultural power consumption.
Under the Scheme, government is planning to install 17.50 lakh standalone solar-based agricultural pumps with individual pump capacity of up to 7.5 horse power (HP). It also wants to solarise 10 lakh grid-connected agricultural pumps with individual pump capacity of up to 7.5 HP. For existing agricultural pumps of up to 10 kW capacity, the solarization cost has been set at Rs 54 per watt.
In order to buy standalone solar-based agricultural pumps and/ or solarizing existing pumps, both Central and State governments will provide subsidy of 30 percent each to farmers and rest 40 percent will be borne by the farmers itself. However, bank loan will be available for farmer’s contribution of up to 30 percent while initially, remaining 10 percent of the cost will be paid by farmer itself.
However, Centre will provide a subsidy of up to 50 per cent for states like Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, North Eastern States, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands.
Besides, the scheme also has a provision for setting up of 10 GW of decentralised renewable energy power plants having individual plant capacity of up to 2 MW on barren lands of farmers.
Despite all the above benefits to farmers, the scheme opens up a huge market of about 8 GW for domestic solar panel manufacturers, as the scheme mandated to purchase all components that are manufactured in India. Notably, the domestic solar panel manufacturing industry is struggling to compete with low cost imported solar products and such initiatives from the government will provide relief to domestic solar panel manufacturers up to some extent.