India injects $6.5 billion into rooftop solar and solar pumps
The Indian government has allocated a whopping Rs. 46,000 crores (about $6.5 billion) to boost the country’s ailing rooftop solar sector and to catalyse the uptake of solar pumps for agricultural use. The funds will be released over 2019-2022, and includes up to 30% of capital subsidy by the Centre for residential associations interested in installing rooftop solar systems (for up to 4GW of the 40GW targets).
Special focus has been directed towards the diesel-pump reliant (and emissions heavy) agricultural sector. Similar subsidies will be available for farmers who wish to install solar-powered pump sets under the KUSUM scheme – for a target of 1.75 million units – and the excess electricity they generate will be retailed to the local DISCOM under a feed-in tariff mechanism. The scheme hopes to add 25.7GW to the country’s 100GW solar target for 2022, while also offsetting 1.2 billion litres of diesel consumption and 27 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.