in Solar Energy
India is an agrarian economy. It means that majority of its population survives on agriculture. With advancement in technology and changing times, the traditional sources of energy in the agriculture industry are being interchanged with new ones. Solar energy is a widely accepted source of energy, owing to cost effectiveness as the primary reason.
The rising fossil fuel prices restrict the agriculture sector in developing countries. Solar pumps are great in improving the cultivation and reduction of usage of diesel fuel significantly.
The cost of energy used to pump water can go up to 30 per cent of the total expenditure cost for farmers. Therefore, switching to solar pumps will not only be cheaper but also more convenient for the farmers. Using solar pumps, farmers can save on their electricity and diesel expenses by approximately $6biilion a year.
As solar energy is environment friendly, it is a great alternative and should be encouraged in all sectors, agriculture being a prime one. Solar pumps can play a major role in agriculture and its ancillary industries.
Owing to the benefits of solar pumps, India has announced the target of installation of 1 million solar pumps by year 2021.
The Indian government has announced the introduction of various business models involving solar irrigation pumps. The government is providing great subsidies along with 30 per cent capital subsidy on solar pumps to farmers. Some of the other facilities provided by the government are as follows:
● Accessing the pump by a group: In such a model, the pump can be purchased by a group of people. Here the financial cost can be borne by the group without causing a great financial burden on an individual. Each member of the group has an access to the pump when required.
● Renting: The farmers can rent a pump from the companies whenever required. It saves on maintenance and storage expenses.
● Pay as you go: In this facility, the farmers can pay for the pump in installments. By this facility, only a small amount goes at the time of purchasing the pump.
The government of India is trying to get as many farmers to switch to solar pumps as possible. Rajasthan has announced an additional 56% subsidy over the MNRE subsidy. Andhra Pradesh has also shown a tremendous number of installations of solar pumps with installation of more than 6000 pumps. States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have shown increased number of installation of solar pumps recently.
● Financial problems, delay of subsidy reimbursement and low awareness rate are some of the major challenges in the installation of the solar pumps.
● Confusion regarding operation and maintenance of the solar pumps is another big issue.
The increase in the usage of solar pumps can strengthen the overall socio-economic structure in the country. Along with many benefits to farmers, it can also help in promoting a clean, green and a beautiful environment.