WHY IN NEWS?
The Ministry of New and Renewable (MNRE) has conducted a review of implementation of Prime Minister’s Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme and Rooftop Solar Programme Phase-II and suggested measures for expansion of the schemes.
- The PM-KUSUM scheme was launched by the MNRE in 2019, to support installation of off-grid solar pumps in rural areas and reduce dependence on grid, in grid-connected areas.
- The objective of the scheme is to enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their barren lands and to sell it to the grid.
- The government’s Budget for 2020-21 expanded the scope for the scheme with 20 lakh farmers to be provided assistance to install standalone solar pumps; another 15 lakh farmers to be given help to solarise their grid-connected pump sets.
Intended Benefits of the PM- KUSUM Scheme:
- It ensures water-security to farmers by providing a day-time reliable source of power for irrigation activities.
- It also incentivises the farmers to sell surplus solar energy to the states, which in turn will augment their income.
- If farmers are able to sell surplus power, they will be incentivised to save power and, in turn, it will mean the reasonable and efficient use of groundwater.
- Also, expansion of the irrigation cover by providing decentralized solar-based irrigation and moving away from polluting diesel.
- As farmers will be less dependent on subsidized electricity, the PM KUSUM scheme will support the financial health of electricity distribution companies (discoms) by reducing the burden of subsidy to the agriculture sector.
- Help them meet the RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation) targets.
- Promotes decentralised solar power production, and reduces transmission losses.
- A potential way to reduce their subsidy outlay towards irrigation.
About Rooftop Solar Programme Phase II:
- The aim is to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by the year 2022.
- In a grid-connected rooftop or small Solar Voltaic Panel system, the DC power generated from the Solar Voltaic panel is converted to AC power using the power conditioning unit and is fed to the grid.
- This scheme is being implemented in the states by distribution companies (DISCOMs).
- The MNRE is providing a 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW and 20% subsidy beyond 3 kW and upto 10 kW of solar panel capacity.
Objectives of the Rooftop Solar Programme:
- To promote the grid-connected SPV rooftop and small SPV power generating plants among the residential, community, institutional, industrial and commercial establishments.
- To mitigate the dependence on fossil fuel based electricity generation and encourage environment-friendly Solar electricity generation.
- To create an enabling environment for investment in the solar energy sector by the private sector, state government and the individuals.
- To create an enabling environment for the supply of solar power from rooftop and small plants to the grid.
- Therefore, the installation of rooftop solar will bring down the electricity consumption of the households and save electricity expenditure.