Government Expands PM KUSUM Scheme to Provide Solar Pumps to Farmers
Pursuing the long-term goal of making India cleaner and greener, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the expansion of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme, which would provide funds to 20 lakh farmers to set up standalone solar pumps.
Presenting the budget for 2020-21, the minister said that 15 lakh farmers would be provided funds to install grid-connected 15 lakh solar pumps.
Nirmala Sitharaman said,
A scheme to enable farmers to setup solar power generation capacity on their fallow and barren lands and to send it to grid would be operationalized. This is a major step forward in which we are saying that farmers if they have fallow or barren lands, now will be helped to set up solar power generation units so that they can then send those, that which is being generated, solar power to the grid and through the grid having given the solar power from their barren land, they will be able to make a living out of that.
Modi government revealed the PM KUSUM scheme in February last year with an outlay of Rs 34,422 crore.
According to Sitharaman, the scheme has eliminated the dependence of the farmers on diesel and kerosene and has encouraged them to use solar energy.
The scheme had three components – 10,000 megawatts (MW) of decentralised ground-mounted grid-connected renewable power plants; installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps; and solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar-powered agriculture pumps.
With all three components combined, the scheme aims to achieve a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.