The Union Government on February 2, 2018 announced to launch 1.4 lakh crore Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) Scheme to encourage farmers for solar farming.
The Union Government will spend Rs 48000 crore on the scheme in ten year time span.
Highlights of the KUSUM Scheme
• KUSUM Scheme aims for decentralized solar power production of up to 28250 megawatt (MW) over a period of five years.
• It will provide additional income to farmers by giving them option to sell additional power to the power grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands.
• It will support the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing the burden of subsidy to the agriculture sector and will support the States in meeting the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) targets.
• It will also lead to reduction in transmission losses by promoting energy efficiency and water conservation.
• It will provide water security to farmers through provision of assured water sources through solar water pumps , both off-grid and grid connected.
• It will offer reliable power to utilise the irrigation potential created by state irrigation departments.
• It will fill the void in solar power production in the intermediate range between roof tops and large parks.
Four Components of KUSUM Scheme
Utilisation of the barren land by farmers: The government will build 10000 MW solar power plants under this and no subsidy would be provided to buy equipment. But Discoms will be given 50 paise per unit as generation based incentives to buy power from farmers for five years. Subsidy component will be Rs 4875 crore.
Installation of 17.5 lakh off grid solar farm pumps: The government will provide Rs 22000 crore to farmers to but off grid solar pumps.
Solarisation of grid connected farm pumps: The subsidy to solarise grid connected water pumps would be Rs 15750 crore. This would have around 7250 MW capacity.
Solarisation of government departments' grid connected water pumps: This would have 2500 MW capacity and subsidy component for this would be Rs 5000 crore.
The 60 per cent subsidy on the solar pumps provided to farmers will be shared between the Union Government and the States while 30 per cent will be provided through bank loans. The balance cost will be borne by the farmers.
The scheme was announced and highlighted by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget speech for the year 2018-19 while calling for 24x7 Clean and Affordable Power for All.
Who: Union Government
When: 2 February 2018