UPSC MAINS 2019 : Scheme for farmers for solar pumps and power plant

Scheme for farmers for solar pumps and power plant

 

Topic : Scheme for farmers for solar pumps and power plant

Topic in Syllabus: General Studies Paper 3: Schemes & Programmes

 

Context:

Scheme for farmers for solar pumps and power plant

Recently Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched the scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in the country.

 

More about on scheme:

  • The Government has approved launch of new scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar power Plants
  • Main objective: providing financial and water security to farmers.
  • The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022 with total central financial support of Rs. 34,422 Crore including service charges to the implementing agencies.

 

Scheme Components:

The Scheme consists of three components:

  • Component A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants of individual plant size up to 2 MW.
  • Component B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  • Component C:Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.

 

All three components combined, the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1000 MW capacity and one lakh grid connected agriculture pumps respectively and thereafter, will be scale-up on success of pilot run. Component-B will be implemented in full-fledged manner.

 

Scheme Components and broad implementation framework:

Component A:

  • Under this component solar or other renewable energy based power plants of capacity 500 kW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ cooperatives/panchayats/Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO).
  • However, States/Discoms may allow setting-up of solar or other renewable energy based power plants of capacity less than 500 kW in specific cases.
  • The power plants will be preferably installed within five km radius of the sub-stations in order to avoid high cost of sub-transmission lines and losses.
  • The Distribution companies (Discoms) will notify sub-station wise generation capacity which can be fed from such plants to the Grid through a particular sub-station.

 

Component B:

  • Under this Component, individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP for replacement of existing diesel pump sets in areas where there is no source of power for irrigation.
  • Pumps of capacity higher than 7.5 HP may be allowed, however, the Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will be limited to the CFA applicable for pump of 7.5 HP.
  • Solar PV capacity in kW equal to the pump capacity in HP is allowed under the scheme

 

Component C:

  • Under this Component, individual farmers having grid connected agriculture pump will be supported to solarise pumps.
  • Solar PV capacity up to two times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme.
  • State may specify lower solar PV capacity in kW, which in any case shall be not be less than pump capacity in HP e.g. for 2 HP pump it will not be less than 2 kW.
  • The farmer will be able to use the generated solar power to meet the irrigation needs and the excess solar power will be sold to Discom. CFA of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the solar PV component will be provided.
  • The State Government will give a financial support of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer.
  • Bank finance may be made available for 30% farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost.

 

Scheme benefits:

  • The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural land owners for a period of 25 years by utilisation of their dry/uncultivable land.
  • In case cultivated fields are chosen for setting up solar power project, the farmers could continue to grow crops as the solar panels are to be set up above a minimum height.
  • The proposed scheme would ensure that sufficient local solar/ other renewable energy based power is available for feeding rural load centres and agriculture pump-set loads, which require power mostly during the day time.
  • As these power plants will be located closer to the agriculture loads or to electrical substations in a decentralized manner, it will result in reduced Transmission losses for STUs and Discoms.
  • The scheme will also help the Discoms to achieve the RPO target.
  • The solar pumps will save the expenditure incurred on diesel for running diesel pump and provide the farmers a reliable source of irrigation through solar pump apart from preventing harmful pollution from running diesel pump.
  • In light of the long waiting list for electric grid connection, this scheme will benefit 17.5 lakh farmers over a period of four years, without adding to the grid load.

 

Sample Question:

“Critically examine how this Scheme for farmers for solar pumps and power plant will provide financial and water security to farmers”.

 


 

 Scheme for farmers for solar pumps and power plant Mindmap