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=> Under the PM-KUSUM scheme, Solar power generation is set to make rapid strides in Rajasthan.
=> The work was earlier affected as the farmers faced difficulty in getting bank loans Now, the public sector banks acceding to the State government’s request to grant loans without collateral security to farmers for installing solar plants on their infertile or semi-barren land.
=> Rajasthan became the first state to complete the selection of farmers for installation of solar plants on their land in July 2021 with the capacity exceeding the targets set by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
=> The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation allotted 722 MW plants to 623 farmers under the KUSUM scheme.
=> It was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
=> It envisages income generation for farmers from their infertile land with the establishment of solar power plants. While the farmers can sell the power generated from the solar plants to the power distribution companies, the solar pumps can also be installed for irrigation of agricultural land.
=> Aim: To help farmers access reliable daytime solar power for irrigation, reduce power subsidies, and decarbonise agriculture.
=> Components of Scheme: Three components: Component A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants of individual plant size up to 2 MW. Component B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP. Component C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.
=> Deployment Models: They can use one of three deployment models: off-grid solar pumps, solarised agricultural feeders, or grid connected pumps. Off-grid pumps have been the most popular, but the nearly 2,80,000 systems deployed fall far short of the scheme’s target of two million by 2022.
=> Extend the scheme’s timelines: Most Indian discoms have a surplus of contracted generation capacity and are wary of procuring more power in the short term. Extending PM KUSUM’s timelines beyond 2022 would allow discoms to align the scheme with their power purchase planning.
=> Create a level playing field for distributed solar plants: To tackle the bias against distributed solar, there is a need to address counterparty risks and grid unavailability risks at distribution substations, standardise tariff determination to reflect the higher costs of distributed power plants, and do away with the waiver of ISTS charges for solar plants.
=> Streamline land regulations through inter-departmental coordination: Doing so will help reduce delays in leasing or converting agricultural lands for nonagricultural purposes such as solar power generation.
=> Innovative Solutions: Support innovative solutions for financing farmers’ contributions. Outofthebox solutions are required like Karnataka’s pilot of a farmer developer special purpose vehicle to help farmers install solar power plants on their farms.
=> Smart solutions: Adopting solutions like smart meters and smart transformers and engaging with farmers can build trust.
By: ASRAF UDDIN AHMED ProfileResourcesReport error
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