The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an energy services company under administrative control of Ministry of Power, Government of India (GoI) has taken up the initiative of accelerating the implementation of Agricultural Demand Side Management (AgDSM) programme in India. After the successful deployment of reaching out to the households through Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP), EESL is now targeting to scale up the AgDSM programme, a brainchild of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, to reach out to the farmers of India by providing them BEE Star Rated Energy Efficient Pump Sets free of cost.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) implemented the first AgDSM pilot project in Solapur circle of Maharashtra where 2209 no of old inefficient pump sets were replaced with BEE Star Rated Energy Efficient Pump sets (EEPS). The intervention lead to approximately 30 percent energy savings, and hence resulted in lower subsidy to be paid by the Government of Maharashtra.
Initially, the programme aims to expand through four states targeting nearly 70 lakh pump sets across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka. EESL has successfully completed its first AgDSM pilot project for 590 no. of pump sets in Byadgi and Nippani circles under the Hubli Electricity Supply Company Limited (HESCOM) in Karnataka. Additionally, it has also completed the replacement of 1337 no. of pump sets in Mandya District under the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (CESC) in the State. Presently, EESL is replacing 2496 no. of pump sets at Rajanagaram Mandal in East Godavari District under the Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP in Andhra Pradesh.
AgDSM project aims at providing free of cost BEE Star Rated Energy Efficient Pump Sets to the farmers along with an electrical control panel. The new pump sets are provided with free repair and maintenance. Workshops are held at project locations to educate the farmers regarding energy efficiency and better irrigation practices.
There is a dire need of implementing the AgDSM projects across India since the tariff for energy consumption in agricultural sector is almost negligible. The gap in energy sales and revenue of the agriculture sector for the State Electricity Utilities is usually filled by the State Governments in the form of subsidy. This has led to huge burden on the States and at times the poor financial health of the State Electricity Utilities in India.
Under AgDSM projects, EESL would bear the upfront capital cost in implementation of the AgDSM projects, hence leading to no upfront capital investment of the State Electricity Utilities or the State Governments. The investments made by EESL are recovered from the State Electricity Utilities over a fixed project duration through the energy savings achieved by replacement of the existing inefficient pump sets with Energy Efficient Pump Sets. By replacing the existing inefficient pump sets with BEE Star Rated Energy Efficient Pump Sets, the demand of electricity consumption in agriculture sector in India is expected to reduce, and thereby help in achieving energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint.
EESL, in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency toady organised a ‘National Workshop on AgDSM’ in New Delhi which was attended by representatives from Ministry of Power, State Energy Departments, State Electricity Utilities, State designated agencies, pump manufacturers, agriculture experts among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, Govt. of India said, “Power consumption in the pumping sector is expected to rise immensely by 2022. There are about 20 million pump sets presently in India consuming approximately 20 percent of India’s total electricity which is approximately 173 billion Units per annum. This is a significant untapped potential for energy efficiency in the country. A scheme like AgDSM sets an example of India’s commitment to ensure optimum conservation of energy.”
Further, he announced that “Not only is EESL distributing energy efficient pumps with free repair and maintenance for the project duration, they are now giving free accidental insurance of Rs 1 lakh to the farmers who participate in the scheme.” After facilitating few farmers and releasing EESL’s toolkit on how to implement AgDSM projects, he praised EESL for organising the National Workshop on AgDSM. He urged the state governments and DISCOMS to join this scheme for their own benefit and the benefit of the farmers.
BP Pandey, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India said, “Ministry of Power has been promoting energy efficiency in all sectors. With the annual addition of up to 0.5 million pump sets in agriculture sector, usage of higher energy efficient pump sets is an important thrust area for the ministry, as they can reduce the peak demand and tap the technical and commercial Losses.”
The two successful AgDSM projects implemented by EESL in Karnataka have demonstrated energy savings of upto 37 percent amounting to total 56 lakh units per annum.
Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL, said, “Energy efficiency is the need of the hour. People are ready for change and we have realised this with our ongoing DELP scheme. Industry players and researchers are constantly looking out ways to introduce higher energy efficiency in their products. To ensure that the nation has enough capacity of power, one must find out ways to use limited natural resources to the optimum and save it. Undoubtedly, energy efficiency has become a national mission. Adoption and deployment of new energy efficient technology reflects our seriousness towards achieving this goal.”
EESL is a joint venture of NTPC, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and Powergrid Corporation of India. It was set up under the Ministry of Power to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.