For the promotion of solar farming i.e. decentralized solar power production of up to 28,250 MW to help farmers, The Union Government has announced Rs.1.4 lakh-crore Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme. For this scheme, Rs. 48,000 crore has been allocated by the Union Budget 2018-19 for the ten-year period.
KUSUM scheme aims to provide 1.75 million off-grid agricultural solar pumps by building 10,000 MW solar plants on barren lands. The scheme will help farmers earn extra income, by giving them an alternative to sell additional power to grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands. As India had about 30 million farm pumps including 10 million pumps running on diesel, Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme will help in de-dieselizing the agriculture sector. The excess electricity which will be generated by farmers will be bought by state electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs). In consequence, it will help boost the India’s emerging green economy.
Basic Components of KUSUM
- ✔As per the scheme, 10,000 MW solar plants on barren lands will be built
- ✔Providing sops to DISCOMS so they can purchase the electricity produced
- ✔Solarising existing pumps of 7250 MW as well as solarising government tube wells with a capacity of 8250 MW
- ✔Farmers will be provided 60% subsidy on solar pumps by the government. It will be shared between States and Centre whereas 30% will be provided through bank loans. Farmers will bear the balance cost.
- ✔17.5 lakh solar pumps will be distribution.
The scheme will help in the promotion of decentralized solar power production. It will reduce the transmission losses of discoms and provide support for the improvement of financial health of DISCOMs by the reduction of subsidy which is a burden to agriculture sector. Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme will also promote water conservation, energy efficiency and provide water security to farmers.