“Surya Raitha” – Harnes Solar Energy To Better Agriculture
For the first time in India, Government of Karnataka is has planned to harness Solar Energy for the benefit of the Farmer. This scheme will ensure solar panels are placed to generate electricity for running irrigation pumpsets, and will also enable farmers to sell excess power generated to the government.
The Karnataka Government’s revolutionary Solar Policy, 2014-2021 which was the brainchild of Energy Minister DK Shivakumar and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has envisaged this scheme via which farmers can generate additional income from their lands, take part in the move towards green energy and also have no fear of electricity cuts.
Under the scheme, a farmer can install a solar power-run pumpset on his farm with 90 per cent subsidy from the government. The government will purchase excess power generated by the farmer at Rs. 9.56 per unit (if the farmer has not taken subsidy); Rs. 7.20 per unit (if the farmer has taken subsidy). This programme is envisaged for the Irrigation Pump (IP) sets on the dedicated IP feeders.
Through this scheme the farmers having 10Kwp solar power can earn nearly Rs 50000/- per annum apart from his self consumption, for irrigation , which augments his revenue sources especially during drought or unseasonal rains.
The state provides free power to the agriculture sector. As a result , the subsidy agriculture consumption has shown an increasing trend year on year.
The revised solar policy 2014-21 promises solar power adoption in the industrial , commercial and residential segments for rooftop PV System. On the same line the benefit shall be extended to the farmers who are otherwise , denied of the benefits of government schemes. Solar powered irrigation system can be suitable alternative for farmers in present state energy crisis.
Solar energy is generated through the year, and since farmers do not need power all 365 days, they can transmit excess power generated to the power grid.