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Special Content

Issue no 34, 19-25 November 2022

PM-KUSUM: Transforming India's Energy Landscape




Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in the 94th edition of 'Mann ki Baat', mentioned Modhera which has become the country's first Solar Village. Most of the houses in Modhera Surya Gram have started generating electricity from solar power. He also talked in length about how climate change is affecting the planet and how solar energy can pave the way for a brighter future in a world of depleting resources. The Government of India has taken various policy measures to fulfill its commitment to have 40% of installed power generation capacity from nonfossil fuel sources by the year 2030. India made the commitment at the Paris Climate Agreement 2015. Striving to generate power from sustainable sources has led the country to rely increasingly on solar energy to meet its power needs. So, to provide energy and water security to farmers and enhance their income, de-dieselise the farm sector, and reduce environmental pollution, the Government of India approved PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan) in February 2019.

PM-KUSUM scheme comprises three components:

Component A: Addition of 10,000 MW of solar capacity through installation of small solar power plants of capacity upto 2 MW.

Component B: Installation of 20 lakh standalone solar powered agricultural pumps.

Component C: Solarisation of 15 lakh existing grid-connected agriculture pumps. PM-KUSUM scheme is one of largest initiatives of the world to provide clean energy to more than 35 lakhs farmers by solarising their agriculture pump. The scheme also has direct employment generation potential.

Harvesting Solar Energy:

Component A: Decentralised Grid Connected Solar Power Plants This component provides for renewable energy-based power plants (REPP) of capacity 500 kW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ group of farmers/ cooperatives/ panchayats/ Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO)/Water User associations (WUA) on barren/ fallow land. These power plants can also be installed on cultivable land on stilts where crops can also be grown below the solar panels. The renewable energy power project will be installed within five km radius of the sub-stations in order to avoid high cost of sub-transmission lines and to reduce transmission losses. The scheme opens a stable and continuous source of income to the rural landowners for 25 years. The Central Government provides an incentive of 40 paise/KWH or Rs. 6.60 lakhs/ MW/year, whichever is lower to the DISCOMs, for buying the power produced under this Component for a period of five years from the Commercial Operation Date of the plant


De-dieselisation of Farm Sector:

Component-B: Installation of Standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps Under this component, individual farmers can replace their existing diesel pumps with solar pumps. The replacement of existing diesel pumps with solar pumps not only reduces the irrigation costs but also lead to reduction in the pollution. Individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar Agriculture pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP (15 HP during the extended scheme tenure). Installation of Universal Solar Pump Controller (USPC) is permitted under this Component. A USPC enables the farmer to use solar power for other activities like operating his chaff cutter, floor mill, cold storage, drier, battery charger, etc. This Component aims to benefit 20 lakh farmers in off-grid areas where there is no source of electric power for irrigation. It will also help in increasing the farmer's income and living conditions. Under the scheme, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) upto 30% of the benchmark cost of the standalone solar pump will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer. However, in North Eastern States, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands, higher CFA upto 50% of the benchmark cost of the standalone solar pump will be provided.


Solarisation of Agriculture Feeders: Solarisation of agriculture feeders has been included as a variant under Component-C of PM-KUSUM Scheme. Under this component, individual farmers having grid connected agriculture pump will be supported to solarise pumps. The farmer will be able to use the generated solar power to meet the irrigation needs. Government of India will provide 30% subsidy for solarisation of agricultural feeders. This will lower the cost of capital and cost of power. The farmers will get day-time reliable power for irrigation free of cost or at tariff fixed by their respective state. The DISCOMs (distribution companies) shall incentivise farmers for consuming power less than benchmark consumption. Such saving of power shall be treated as surplus power injected by farmers and they will be paid by DISCOMs against this saved power at predetermined tariff.


Expected outcomes

PM-KUSUM will bring along the following reform/ improvements:

·         Day-time reliable power for irrigation: Farmers typically get power for irrigation at night. This not only causes them a great deal of inconvenience but also results in wastage of water as pumps are left running once switched on. Providing solar panels for irrigation under PM-KUSUM would result in day-time reliable power to farmers making irrigation easier for them and also avoiding over-use of water and power.

·         De-Dieselization of Farm Sector: Farmers have been demanding replacement of diesel pumps with electric pumps as the former one is costly to run. By replacing diesel pumps with solar pumps and panels, the farmers will get cheaper and more reliable power for irrigation resulting savings in diesel cost.

·         Enhancing Farmers' Income: PM-KUSUM will replace high cost diesel with less expensive solar energy under and by enabling farmers to sell surplus solar power at a pre-determined rate to DISCOMS, this scheme will help the farmers earn better.

·         Curbing Climate Change: The total diesel consumption of the agricultural pumps installed in India in a year works out to 5.52 billion litre per annum along with equivalent CO2 emission of 15.4 milliontonnes. When implemented fully, PMKUSUM will lead to reducing carbon emissions by as much as 32 milliontonnes of CO2 per annum.

·         Boosting Domestic Solar Manufacturing: India aims to achieve 100 GW of solar power capacity by the year 2022. However, our domestic solar manufacturing capacity is limited, and we mostly depend on imports in this area. Under PM-KUSUM, it is a mandatory requirement for deploying domestically produced solar cells and modules. This will create demand of 20.8 GW for domestically produced solar cells and modules boosting the domestic solar manufacturing.

·         Reducing the Import Bill: PM-KUSUM will lead to an annual reduction in diesel consumption thus reducing the import bill on account of petroleum products. Moreover, enhanced domestic solar manufacturing will lead to a further reduction in the outgo on account of imports.


Compiled by Annesha Banerjee and Anuja Bhardwajan Source: PM-KUSUM, MNRE, PIB