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Solar Pumps: Prospering Farmers with Affordable Irrigation

India’s solar potential stands at 749 gigawatts and still untapped. Farmers are now utilising solar pumping solutions for irrigation and are being benefited with this affordable and uninterrupted solution. BK Jha reports 

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Clean energy is all set to transform rural economy and it is hard to believe that solar power, which is generally considered effective for lighting purposes, has been making substantial change in lives of farmers through solar pumping solution for irrigation. Irrigation is lifeline for the farmers, but they are mainly dependent on unreliable grid electricity and diesel pumps.

The problem of water scarcity in rural regions of India is acute. Solar pumps offer an effective solution for irrigation, drinking and other purposes. With solar pumping, high power deficit, diesel dependent, agrarian and poor economic regions are witnessing a change. Millions of farmers of these areas are getting affordable, adequate and timely irrigation for multiple crops.  

Irrigation Pumps 

Irrigation pumps are in use since long. India has close to 2.2 crore irrigation pump sets installed. Of these, 1.2 crore are powered by grid electricity and the remaining by diesel. Together, they consume a staggering 20 percent power generated by our country, every year. But problems are rife. While on one hand, diesel-run pump sets are extremely expensive to operate, on the other hand, given unequal power access, electric pumpsets are completely unreliable. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Punjab have extreme power deficits, ranging between 20 and 30 percent or even more.

Irrigation with fuel like diesel is expensive. For example, a farmer who has 15 acres of land has to spend Rs 1,000 on diesel every day and, even then, he can irrigate only 10 percent of his land per day. He needs that much of amount everything. He can’t rely on power because it’s available for only 2-3 hours daily. And if he doesn’t irrigate his land, his produce suffers which has an impact on his profits. So he falls in debt trap. 


Claro Energy: Transforming Rural India

Claro Energy, a Delhi-based company founded in January 2011, is providing solar-powered water pumping solutions to meet agricultural irrigation, aeration, fisheries and drinking water needs in off-grid areas. Claro is a tale of entrepreneurship by the Trio- three young engineering and management professionals- Kartik Wahi, Soumitra Mishra and Gaurav Kumar and their passion to transform Rural India. The company has already spread its base in 16 States and has installed over 2, 200 pump sets. It operates in high power deficit, diesel dependent, agrarian and poor economic regions of India. The team aims to be the largest provider of affordable, adequate and timely irrigation to millions of farmers in India. 

Claro Energy has been working with state governments, commercial and industrial customers, agri-enterprises, farmer cooperatives and individual farmers in India to design and innovative affordable solar solutions to meet their water energy requirements for irrigation and drinking. In 6 years, with over 3000 off-grid solar pump systems installed in nearly 16 states across the country. The company is one of the front runners in the solar industry today. Claro has brought more than 12000 acres of land under irrigation and impacted more than 100000 lives. 

Amroha Irrigation Project: Changing Lives 

Amroha is one of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh, further divided into 6 blocks. Farmers dominate a large part of the district with nearly 18 lakh population. One of the biggest problems that they face today unavailability of grid electricity for irrigation pumps by the government. However, they were in dire need of some solution to this crisis. Agriculture being their primary source of livelihood, the farmers in the area accepted the alternate irrigation solutions which came to their way. The solution came from Claro Energy and they got rid of expensive diesel fueled pumps which was further burning a hole in their pockets and also degrading the present environmental conditions.

Claro Beneficiary_0.jpg“Solar powered irrigation pumps were introduced to the village by Claro Energy two years back to combat the problems faced by the farmers and a significant change was observed in such a short span of time. Solar energy proved as a money-saving and environment friendly solution for us,” said Parvender Kumar Panghal, a farmer in the district, who build a hospital with the cost reduction in his irrigation supply! 

He’s setting an example for not only the other farmers in the village, but the farmers of the world. This solar energy is also helping them improve their standard of living by helping them save money. This situation highlights how a small switch has the ability to change lives.

Product & Technology: Claro Energy offers a wide range of solar pumping solutions, including both AC and DC systems, ranging from 1 HP to 10HP kW, for both surface and submersible pump applications. Solutions are customized for customers, and both single and dual axis tracking by solar panels are offered. Along with this comes remote tracking through a mobile architecture of all pumping assets for fault detection, diagnosis and rectification in a timely and cost effective manner. Claro Energy has also recently also added movable systems (on a pay-per-use format) to its stationary fixed ground mounted systems portfolio. Often Claro’s systems deliver more water, or run longer during the day, or are lower in cost compared to its competitors.

Claro has successfully managed to change to lives of farmers in rural areas of many Indian states and is bringing upliftment in the lives of the those who are responsible for putting food on our tables.

The organization is heavily involved in developing mass irrigation solutions, among other innovations, towards making agriculture more efficient and in tune with the times. The team aims to be the largest provider of affordable, adequate and timely irrigation to millions of farmers in India.

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