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Decentralized solar plants to boost farmers’ income and RE capacity

Friday, 02 Jun 2023
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Deploying decentralized solar plants would help India meet its target of 50 percent non-fossil power capacity by 2030 and increase farmers' income, as per the report, ‘Implementing Solar Irrigation Sustainably’, co-authored by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Consumer Unity and Trust Society International and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Under the government’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) programme, the decentralized solar power plants could be a viable solution for farmers, local communities, state governments, and distribution companies (discoms), as per the report, which also empahsises refining deployment approaches based on the data.

The study stated that solar irrigation will also help to reduce air pollution, and further, solar agricultural feeders will not only improve the quality and reliability of power supply for farmers, but also result in new green jobs among communities and reduce power purchase costs for the state.

For effective implementation of design plans for PMKUSUM, it urges states to boost investments by reducing the risk perception of the scheme and by increasing tariffs to make returns more attractive for farmers and developers. Researchers have also fosued on the importance of allocating responsibilities among departments, facilitating information exchange, undertaking infrastructure planning, and promoting linkages to energy and water efficiency. The study also identifies areas of water incentives and agrivoltaics which require on-the-ground experiments to aid policy formation.

A decentralized energy system is characterized by locating energy production facilities closer to the site of consumption and allows for a more optimal use of renewable energy, reduces fossil fuel use and increases eco-efficiency.

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