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Regional

Haryana bats for solar water pumps in farms to cut input costs, CO2 emissions

IANS | October 08, 2023 10:23 AM

CHANDIGARH: Agrarian state Haryana has saved 441 million units of electricity and 3.5 lakh tonnes of CO2 with the installation of 63, 733 solar pumps to reduce the power bill of the agriculture sector and to reduce input costs through the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM).

This initiative, which replaces diesel pump sets, has led to an additional 445 MW of solar capacity, expected to save 441 million units of electricity annually, resulting in saving of Rs 294 crore in renewable energy subsidies for agriculture pumps.

Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal told IANS that the state has achieved significant milestones in the installation of off-grid solar pumps under the PMKUSUM scheme.

To date, farmers have received a subsidy of Rs 1, 602.84 crore. Haryana ranks second in off-grid solar pump installations after Maharashtra.

Kaushal said Haryana has received a state subsidy of Rs 1, 012.62 crore and Central assistance of Rs 590.22 crore for off-grid solar pumps under Component B of the PM-KUSUM scheme.

He said about 7, 700 domestic consumers with 500 square yard roofs have been connected to the DISCOMS grid under the domestic solar rooftop scheme.

Additionally, 1, 651 consumers of domestic rooftop solar have been connected in UHBVN. In recognition of this performance, UHBVN Haryana has been awarded an incentive of Rs 9.77 crore by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is against the concept of free electricity, has emphasised that the priority for new solar pump installation would be given to the areas where the groundwater level has gone down to 100 ft and to the farmers who have applied for installation.

Till the year 2014, only 492 solar pumps had been installed in the state.

The Department of New and Renewable Energy has set a target to install 70, 000 solar pumps in 2023-24.

As per the government, 75 per cent subsidy is being given for the installation of solar pumps of capacity three to 10 horsepower. Besides, 20 to 40 per cent subsidy is being given on the installation of solar power systems on the rooftops of houses under the Solar Rooftop Programme.

Khattar believes the use of solar energy is not only a step towards self-sufficiency in the energy sector, but is also helping increasing the income of farmers by reducing the cost of agriculture.

Haryana, where more than 90 per cent of groundwater is used for agriculture and horticulture and is being overexploited, aims to spike farmers’ income through increasing total output and their prices, reducing production costs through lowering input use and reducing input prices.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at gulatiians@gmail.com)

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