Suman Chakraborty, AVP Industrial and Solar Segment, KBL
“Infrastructural revamping and introducing market-friendly policies should be the top agenda for deep penetration and up scaling solar projects”
According to Suman Chakraborty, AVP Industrial and Solar Segment, KBL, using solar energy for pumping application to satisfy irrigation and drinking water needs has picked up momentum over last two years, and it is expected to grow due to the increased awareness among end-users.
Contribution towards power generation
Use of solar energy for pumping application to satisfy irrigation and drinking water needs, has picked up momentum over the last two years through subsidy-based schemes in various states. We expect this momentum to continue in the near future. This will grow due to the increased awareness among the end-users with respect to the benefits, enhanced funding at state and central government levels, aggressive pricing and new schemes like KUSUM being worked out with the intent of optimum utilisation of generated solar power as well as subsidies.
The volumes have grown more than double in the last one year itself and we take pride in having been able to cater to a wide range of applications, such as community based irrigation schemes, drinking water supply schemes, ‘solarising’ large grid-based water supply schemes using innovative technology, creating artificial water holes for wildlife, cooperative solar pumping, water supply to private farms, etc. While this segment will continue to grow, the critical success factors would be maintaining quality and reliability of the products and ensuring instant service to end-users when required.
India as a country has already emerged as a global force to reckon within the field of solar-powered pumps for irrigation and providing drinking water. The next decade will see our country emerging as a leader in this field worldwide.
Potential in solar powered irrigation
The potential is immense and various avenues are opening up to make solar irrigation popular, affordable and sustainable. However, the market approach for providing right solutions at the right value needs to be worked upon with various policy making agencies and stake holders like MNRE, SECI, IREDA, NABARD, state nodal agencies, DISCOMs and solar equipment manufacturers as well as service providers.
The challenges are addressable through the short and long term measures. However, for further couple of years, the major dependence will still be on government initiatives. In order to reach a self-sustainable open market scenario, which actually would be ideal for the benefits to be reaped by the population at large, major changes in policies and financial models are needed.
For example stressing more on the critical deliverables like capability to supply large
volumes within specified time accompanied with the expected quality, reliability and service (both pre and after market) and availability of easy finance.
Infrastructural revamping and introducing market-friendly policies and regulations should be the top agenda for deep penetration and up scaling the solar projects. Enhancing domestic manufacturing facilities, rationalising the subsidy structure, bringing in tax reforms as well as power distribution reforms for sustenance of industries and encouraging new technology adoption are some of the key issues to be addressed to quicken the pace for achieving the power ambitions.