India Agrivoltaics Alliance Launched To Aid Growth Of Solar With Farming

India Agrivoltaics Alliance Launched To Aid Growth Of Solar With Farming India Agrivoltaics Alliance Launched To Aid Growth Of Solar With Farming

The India Agrivoltaics Alliance (IAA) was launched, during the first India Agrivoltaics Summit held on October 30, by the Joint Secretary of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Lalit Bohra. Supported by the India Climate Collaborative (ICC) and Bloomberg Philanthropies, IAA brings together organisations across the entire agriculture and solar value chains.

This alliance will be steered by 12 organisations including – National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Indian Society of Agricultural Engineering (ISAE), Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) Japan, and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, with the secretariat of the alliance hosted by NSEFI. IAA will forge strong collaborations with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA), Government of India, to drive the harmonious synergy of renewables and agriculture.

In a media release, the alliance said that India’s current renewable energy goals would require access to large areas of land. At the same time, India had been heavily dependent on agriculture, with 60% of its land area farmed. “Agrivoltaics can address this unique challenge by optimising land usage, through the co-location of solar panels with agriculture, or where solar panels can be placed alongside crops and pastoral lands, for growing crops as well as generating solar energy. Co-locating solar panels with agricultural farms is also vital to prepare farmers to survive climate-induced extreme weather, by laying a strong foundation for climate-resilient agriculture and doubling farmers’ incomes,” the statement said.

It said that recognising this opportunity, the IAA was constituted to better champion the entire spectrum of agrivoltaics, by bringing together all stakeholders across the value chain in the solar and agricultural sectors, including industry associations, research institutes, financial institutions like NBFCs, policy think tanks, civil society organisations, and FPOs. The alliance will work towards developing effective business models and financial instruments for agrivoltaics, study the socio-economic impact of agrivoltaics on India’s agricultural scenario, and strive for the inclusion of women and youth communities of India in the emerging field of agrivoltaics.

Speaking at the launch, Bohra emphasized that Agrivoltaics could be used an instrument to popularize Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) adoption and sensitizing the public at large for adopting RE. he said that Agrivoltaics would also serve as a triple advantage offering for saving water, doubling farmers income and making the power sector financially viable, without compromising on the food security.

Deepak Gupta, Director General, NSEFI who led the National Solar Mission as the Secretary, MNRE said “The launch of the India Agrivoltaics Alliance is a pivotal moment in our nation’s journey towards sustainable energy. Agrivoltaics is not just a technology; it’s a commitment to harmonizing agriculture and solar energy for a greener, more resilient future. This alliance will be instrumental in achieving this harmony, fostering innovation, and driving the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape in India.”

Talking about the potential of the IAA, Shloka Nath, CEO of the India Climate Collaborative, said, “As India propels itself towards a renewable energy revolution, it is critical that we align this momentum with economic progress in climate-vulnerable sectors like agriculture. Our climate ambition must be mindful of India’s development aspirations – and the India Agrivoltaics Alliance is a huge step forward. This will cultivate deep collaborative relationships among diverse actors for solar and agricultural progress, unlocking green outcomes that support farmers’ livelihoods and improve sustainable land use.”

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