Experts Column

KUSUM: Exclusive energy for farmers

DV Rama Krishna, Advisor, Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation Limited

“Government of Telangana has contracted around 3.5 GW of solar energy, 24 per cent of the total installed capacity of Telangana State”

D V Rama Krishna, Advisor, Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation Limited, talks about the contribution of Government of Telangana towards the solar target, with their best-in-place solar policy.

Accelerating the power capacity to drive India’s energy growth
Sustained economic growth continues to drive electricity demand in India. The Government of India’s focus on attaining ‘Power for All’ has accelerated capacity addition in the country. At the same time, the competitive intensity is increasing at both the market and supply sides (fuel, logistics, finances, and manpower).

To meet the power demand of the country, the un-electrified rural Indian population should have access to sustainable energy resources in a reliable manner, and there should be hybrid combination of conventional and non-conventional resources in off grid and grid connected mode.

Promoting greater use of renewable
The government has undertaken two-pronged approach to cater the energy demands while ensuring minimum growth in CO2 emissions, so that the global emissions do not lead to an irreversible damage to Earth. On one hand, the government is promoting greater use of renewable in the energy mix mainly through solar and wind, and at the same time shifting towards super-critical technologies for coal-based power plants. On the other side, efforts are being made to efficiently use the energy in the demand side through various innovative policy measures under the overall ambit of Energy Conservation Act.

Contribution of Government of Telangana
The major attempt at transforming the energy mix —with a goal of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 is under way. Solar power tariffs in India plunged to a record low of ₹2.44 per unit in July 2018. In today’s solar market in India, almost every passing tender has promised to deliver cheaper electricity. The solar industry is entering a period of cost efficiency thanks to advances in technology and competitive bidding. Government of Telangana has contracted around 3.5 GW of solar energy as on July 30, 2018, which is 24 per cent of the total installed capacity of Telangana State. This was possible with the best-in-place solar policy of Telangana government with proper incentives and promotional benefits.

Power sector core of growth
The power sector is the core engine of growth in any economy and more so in the newly formed State of Telangana. Providing quality and reliable power at an affordable cost are critical towards fulfilling the high growth aspirations of the farmers in the respective states. There will be a vast potential in solar powered irrigation as this not only supports the farmers but also the governments in getting rid of the subsidies towards free power for agricultural sector.

With an aim to promote use of solar power among farmers, the government is all set to launch the KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan). Under this scheme, the farmers would be provided with grid tied solar water pumps. This will enable the farmer to generate and consume the energy generated and during off season, the energy generated will be injected to grid and the farmer will get the revenue for the energy injected by which he can get the income from non-agricultural season.

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