Cabinet nod soon for Rs 50,000 crore KUSUM scheme on solar farming
The KUSUM scheme, with over Rs 50,000 crore government support to promote the use of solar power among farmers, is likely to get the Cabinet nod by this month end and will be rolled out in the first half this fiscal, a senior official said today. “The KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan) Scheme is likely to be placed before Union Cabinet for consideration and approval by this month end. We would be able to implement the scheme in first half of this fiscal,” New and Renewable Energy Secretary Anand Kumar told reporters here at the launch of TERI year book. He said that under the revised draft of the scheme to be placed before the Cabinet, the amount of central government assistance has been enhanced from earlier proposal.
Under the scheme, the government plans to incentivise farmers to run solar farm water pumps and use barren land for generating power for extra income — up to Rs 60,000 per acre every year. At present, farmers earn about Rs 30,000 per acre annually from conventional wheat and paddy rotation, after deducting input costs.
As per the initial proposal the total cost of the capacities under this scheme was estimated at Rs 1.4 lakh crore.
The Centre’s contribution was proposed at Rs 48,000 crore under the scheme to aid total solar power generation capacity of 28,250 MW over the next 10 years.
Talking about the government’s ambition of having 40 per cent of the energy mix from non-fossil fuels, Kumar said that India would have half of the installed power generation capacity from non-fossils or renewables like solar, wind and hydro.
Apart from 175 GW renewable energy target from sources including solar, wind and hydro, 10 GW each would come from offshore wind power and floating solar project taking the total clean energy capacity to 195 GW by 2022, he said.
Kumar further stated that under the new hydro policy, the large hydro projects (above 25 MW) would also be brought under the definition of renewables and therefore, India would achieve around 250 GW clean energy by 2022 which would be almost half of 520 GW installed capacity planned till that time.
Talking about clean energy auctions he said that highest ever 12 GW of wind energy and 20GW of solar energy projects were tendered last fiscal.
India plans to auction 20 GW of solar and 10 GW of wind energy in the current fiscal and same capacities would be auctioned next fiscal also. Thus India would complete the auctions of the planned capacities by March 2020 in view 18 months long implementation period of these projects.
Kumar said India’s renewable energy capacity excluding large hydro has increased to 68 GW by the end of March this year compared to 57 GW last year around this time.
On this occasion, Kumar also said that TERI and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy would develop a portal to provide online data about renewable energy on real time basis and modalities for this would soon we worked out.