India is a country with the highest arable land; with almost 17.5 Lakh Km2 of land suitable for cultivation. The majority of this land is irrigated through diesel pump sets due to the unavailability of electricity. Agricultural activity has thus been restricted to specific seasons, depending on the water requirements of the crop and the possibilities of irrigation available in the vicinity of the fields.
Capital expenditure for electrical grid expansion and electricity/diesel subsidies for agriculture have been putting a huge burden on the governments. With agriculture contributing almost 20% to the GDP, solar pumping systems have provided a plausible solution to the government by helping them rid themselves of unsustainable expenditures on electricity/diesel subsidies and investing in a cost-effective and long-term solution.
In this way, the government is also leapfrogging the grid, wherein they are replacing capital-intensive grid installations and hefty maintenance of electrical lines with solar systems and providing free power for irrigation to the farmers.
At present, solar pumps are mostly being deployed through government-promoted programs. But owing to a substantial decrease in the costs of solar panels and evident benefits of solar pumps, private installations of solar pumping systems outside the purview of the government programs have also picked up.
Solar Pumping systems are bringing happiness into the lives of farmers by revolutionizing agricultural practices in the following ways:
I. Solar pumps are cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives for irrigation
The solar pump has proven to be a profitable solution in the long, as it runs on renewable energy with minimum operation cost and maintenance. Though the cost of acquisition is high compared to an electric pump, it requires zero running cost during its entire life cycle, thereby making it cost-effective in the long run.
II. Solar Pumps are accessible and reliable in remote locations
Solar pumps can work reliably in remote locations that are outside the ambit of the national grid, making them highly resourceful in a country like India. As long as solar energy is available solar pumps can operate, providing much-needed power for driving irrigation activities for the farmers.
III. Solar Pumps increase agricultural productivity by decreasing dependence on rainwater for irrigation
A large chunk of a total 17.5 lakh sq km of arable land in India is still dependent on rainfall. Even in other areas, the unreliability of grid power hinders agricultural output. Solar pumping systems thus can provide a much-needed impetus to agricultural planning and productivity by offering much-needed flexibility and reliability.
IV. Solar Pumps can be easily used with modern micro-irrigation methods to save groundwater
Groundwater exploitation is another major challenge faced by the agriculture sector in India. Subsidized electricity for agriculture is not available at or for a fixed time due to erratic power supplies. As a result many times farmers end up running their pumps for extended periods to store water for later use. Lack of proper facilities for storage in addition to evaporation leads to wastage, eventually leading to abuse of groundwater storage. The flexibility offered by solar pumping systems has made it easier for farmers to adopt micro-irrigation methods, thereby also helping to avoid groundwater exploitation.
In a nutshell, solar-powered water pumping systems, provide a sustainable solution to modern-day agricultural challenges. It reduces the dependence on rainfall, eliminates high running and maintenance costs of diesel pumps and dependence on unreliable electrical grids, thereby allowing farmers to plan agricultural activity across the year, and increases profits, making them self-reliant in the long term.
About LUBI Electronics
LUBI Electronics is a leading company in India, exhibiting expertise in the automation, solar, and control panel industry.
Our solar offerings include best-in-class solar modules, solar pumps, solar pump controllers and solar inverters.
For more information on our offerings, please reach out to us at email@example.com.