In order to promote solar energy in the agriculture sector and to minimise the usage of diesel and conventional grid power, the Government of India has planned to install one lakh solar irrigation pumps across the country.
The government has implemented a scheme to install one lakh solar pumps for irrigation and drinking water through State Nodal Agencies and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). These pumps would help lakhs of farmers to increase output, income and also provide drinking water.
According to government estimates, drinking water problems will be solved for more than 7.6 lakh families through solar pumps for drinking water. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) provides 30 percent capital subsidy to the farmers for installation of solar pumps for irrigation purpose through State nodal agencies.
Further, the State governments also provide additional subsidy through their own funds. The Central government has also made provision for mandatory loan to farmers for solar irrigation pumps through NABARD. The ministry has issued supplementary guidelines for 100,000 solar pumps during 2014-15 and Rs 353.50 crore was released to various agencies.