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Enabling Agricultural Sustainability in Rajasthan through Solar Energy

Agriculture remains the foundation of Rajasthan's economy, with agriculture and allied sectors contributed to 30.23% in state's Gross State Value Added (GSVA) at current prices in 2021-22. Electricity supply for irrigation is an essential component in agriculture production. The agriculture category consumed very high around 42% of total electricity sales by distribution utilities (Discoms) in Rajasthan during FY22. This is further expected to reach 45% by 2030, growing @8% CAGR as per the 20th National Electric Power Survey projections.

Solarizing farm irrigation is critical in the case of Rajasthan’s sustainable energy transformation as it ensures replacing consumption of fossil fuel-based power generation with surplus solar generation in State. Agriculture has consistently held a paramount position for the government, being crucial for robust economic growth. In 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) introduced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme. The scheme's objective is to facilitate the sustainable transformation of India's agriculture sector by integrating solar-powered irrigation systems.

Rajasthan has achieved high progress in implementation of PM-KUSUM Scheme across State. As on Jun’ 2023, the State is ranked first in installed capacity under Component A (Decentralized small solar plants), second in Component B (standalone solar pumps), It has outperformed the initial sanctioned number of individual solar pump installations (IPS) in the first phase of Component C, demonstrating substantial progress. Further in advance stage for initiating installation of feeder level solarization (FLS) under second phase of Component C. In view of the understanding the importance of impact framework for the PM KUSUM scheme and the causes of the limitations of this scheme, we are organizing a dialogue on August 28 to seek challenges and opportunities of solarising agriculture and its implications on agriculture-energy-water nexus. We also plan to share our study findings with launch of our research paper which aims to create an impact framework tool for the PM KUSUM scheme that the implementation agency can use.

This workshop is part of the Sustainable Energy Transformation – Rajasthan (SET-RJ) initiative, which is designed to support Rajasthan in research and analysis that align with the state's ambitious Renewable Energy (RE) policies. The initiative collaborates with stakeholders to find sustainable solutions, ultimately aiding the state in achieving its renewable energy objectives.

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