KUSUM Scheme Expanded in new Budget to Cover 20 Lakh Farmers

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the expansion of PM KUSUM Scheme under which 20 lakh farmers will now be provided with funds to set up standalone solar pumps.

KUSUM 20 Lakh Farmers

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2019, while presenting the latest budget has announced the expansion of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme under which 20 lakh farmers will now be provided with 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. 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); and 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.

Recently, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) had issued a tender, invited bids from eligible vendors for the supply and commissioning of over 1.8 lakh off-grid solar water pumps across India under the PM KUSUM scheme that is targeted towards promoting the usage of solar power in the country’s agriculture sector. The scope of work for the successful bidders includes the design, manufacture, supply, transport, installation, testing, and commissioning of 10 horsepower (HP) water pumps along with the warranty, repair. The developers will also be required to provide comprehensive maintenance services for the pumps for a period of 5 years.

In November 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had issued guidelines for the implementation of the Component-C of the Rs 34,422 crore PM-KUSUM scheme. Component-C of the scheme involves the solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected pumps. Under this component, individual farmers having a grid-connected agriculture pump will be supported to solarise pumps. Solar PV capacity up to two times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme. CFA similar to that under the component-B of the scheme will be applicable.

As per provisions of the scheme, initially 1 lakh grid-connected pumps are targeted to be solarised on a pilot basis and further scale-up will be carried out after the evaluation of the pilot phase.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.