India is an agriculture-based country. The agricultural sector provides a livelihood to over 50% of Indias population. In fact, the sector contributes 18% to the country GDP. However, the agricultural sector needs proper irrigation facilities and other amenities to reap proper benefits. The major constraint in this sector is farmers dependency on pumps for irrigation. Most of the farmers use pumps some of which are connected to the grid while some pumps run on diesel and other fossil fuels. According to a study conducted by KPMG, this sector consumes almost 20% of the installed power in India.
Another issue in this sector is related to the plight of farmers. Since some of the crops are seasonal, most of the farmers are deprived of regular source of income. Furthermore, farmers are not being able to earn anything from their dry/uncultivated land. Solar energy can be put to good use to address these critical issues of the agriculture sector.
Solar energy is one of the most vital renewable sources of energy that can be utilized for various purposes. Solar energy is widely being adopted in residential, commercial and industrial sectors and it has huge potential to benefit the agriculture sector. So, with an endeavour to offer financial and water security to farmers, the Indian government has launched various schemes to promote the installation of grid-connected solar power plants and solar pumps.