A Stakeholders’ dialogue on KUSUM Scheme in the city
CEED, in partnership with the Bihar Industries Association (BIA) and the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, organised a stakeholder dialogue on the upcoming Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyaan (KUSUM) scheme in the city to ensure effective upliftment of farmers through the use of solar across Bihar.
Recently, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has formulated a scheme named Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) which is proposed to be implemented during FY 2018-19 to FY 2021-22 with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers by increasing farmers’ income and providing cost-effective irrigation facility. The dialogue was an attempt to spread awareness of the effectiveness of the scheme and take inputs from various stakeholders.
In the welcome address, Shri K.P.S. Keshri, President, Bihar Industries Association (BIA) said that the scheme would adequately remunerate farmers and increase their incomes while promoting decentralised solar power production in the state. The president further mentioned that the stakeholder’s engagement will help them in planning effective business management strategies for different business models like mini-grid or community solar model for solarisation of irrigation and agricultural consumers.
Briefing about the main objectives of the scheme in the opening remark, Mr Abhishek Pratap, Program Director of CEED said that the upcoming scheme would provide extra income to farmers by giving them an option to sell additional power to the grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands. He highlighted some of the tasks that need to be done in parallel to have a better understanding of Bihar’s agricultural landscape for this scheme. He further emphasised on the need of implementation guidelines for its effective implementation in a phase-wise manner.
The Chief Guest of the event, Shri Alok Kumar, I.E.S, Director, Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) said that BREDA being the key nodal agency for KUSUM and renewable energy in the state had been supporting various initiatives that can assist in the promotion of solar energy. He informed that the Union government is planning to install one million solar pumps all over India by 2021.
“Around 1838 solar pumps have been installed in Bihar as of now and BREDA is working to increase this number for meeting the agricultural load of the state”, the director added further.
Speaking on the positive outcomes of the scheme, Shri S.K.P Singh, Director (Projects), North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) said that the full-scale implementation of the scheme in Bihar would help in reduction of transmission losses and providing support to the financial health of discoms by reducing the subsidy burden to the agriculture sector.
The representatives of several solar pump developers, farmers and other stakeholders participated in the discussion. Besides exploring the possibilities of meeting agricultural load, providing financial and water security to farmers through KUSUM Scheme, the dialogue also highlighted the feasibility of purchasing surplus solar power, grid stability and approach required to achieve various objectives of the scheme.