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Budget 2020: What is PM KUSUM scheme that will aid 20 lakh farmers to income from solar power

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New Delhi, Feb 01: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced the expansion of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme under which 20 lakh farmers would be provided funds to set up standalone solar pumps.

While presenting the budget for 2020-21, the Minister said that 15 lakh farmers would be provided funds to set up grid-connected 15 lakh solar pumps. The previous Modi government in February last year had unveiled the PM KUSUM scheme with an outlay of Rs 34,422 crore. Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that the scheme has removed farmers' dependence on diesel and kerosene and linked them to solar energy.

Budget 2020: Major focus on PM KUSUM scheme to cover 20 lakh farmers from solar power

The scheme also enables the farmers to set up solar power generation capacity and sell it to the grid. She stressed that farmers would be able to earn a livelihood through their baron land also (by generating solar power on that).

The PM KUSUM scheme had three components -- 10,000 megawatts (MW) of decentralised ground-mounted grid-connected renewable power plants (Component-A); Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps (Component-B); Solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar-powered agriculture pumps (Component-C).

All three components combined, the scheme had aimed to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.

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What is PM KUSUM scheme?

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

The scheme aims to add solar and another renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022 with the 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.

Scheme implementation

State Nodal Agencies(SNAs) of MNRE will coordinate with States/UTs, Discoms and farmers for implementation of the scheme.

Components A and C of the Scheme will be implemented in Pilot mode till 31st December 2019. Component B, which is an ongoing sub-programme, will be implemented in entirety without going through pilot mode.

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The capacities to be implemented under pilot mode for the Components A and C are as follows:

  • Component A: Commissioning of 1000 MW capacity of ground/ stilt mounted solar or other renewable energy source based power projects
  • Component C: Solarisation of 1,00,000 grid-connected agriculture pumps

On successful implementation of the pilot run of Components A and C of the Scheme, these components would be scaled-up, after getting necessary approval.

Scheme benefits

The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural landowners for a period of 25 years by utilisation of their dry/uncultivable land. Further, 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. Moreover, 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 with a reliable source of irrigation through the 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.

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