As a part of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), India has committed to increase the share of installed capacity of electric power from non-fossil-fuel sources to 40% by 2030. The Cabinet had approved scaling-up of solar power target from 20,000 MW of Grid Connected Solar power Projects to 1,00,000 MW by 2022.
While Large Scale Solar power generation projects are being installed to achieve the ambitious target of 100 GW of Solar Power generation by 2022, it has been planned to simultaneously develop decentralized Solar energy and other renewable energy generation Plants of capacity up to 2 MW which could be connected directly to existing 33/11 kV or 66/11 kV or 110/11 kV sub-stations of Distribution Company, thus saving in transmission system requirement apart from T&D losses. Such plants near these substations may be developed, preferably by farmers, giving them an opportunity to increase their income by utilizing their barren and uncultivable land for solar or other renewable energy based power plants.
Cultivable land may also be used if the Solar plants are set up on stilts where crops can be grown below the stilts and sell RE power to DISCOMs. Besides, developing decentralized renewable power, it is planned to replace Agriculture Diesel pumps with Solar Water pumps and Solarize Grid connected Agriculture pumps.
At present, over 30 million agricultural pumps are installed in India, out of which ne arly 10 million pumps are diesel based. The Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) are not in a position to energize these pumps through grid connection as seen from the long waiting lists with such Distribution Companies.
Hence there is a need to provide energy to these pumps through solar energy. Also, over 20 million gridconnected agriculture water pumps installed in the country consume more than 17 percent of total annual electricity consumption of the country. Solarisation of the same can reduce dependence of these pumps on conventional sources of energy supplied by DISCOMs and thus reducing their burden of subsidy on agriculture consumption of Electricity. This will also provide additional source of income to farmers who will be in a position to sell the surplus power to DISCOMs.
The new Scheme has provision for the decentralized renewable energy plants, Solar agriculture water pumps and Solarisation of existing Grid connected Agriculture pumps. Approval of the New Scheme for Farmers the Government of India has launched New Scheme for Farmers with following components: