The Centre has now introduced modifications to an existing component of the PM-KUSUM scheme – a farmer income support and a de-dieseling scheme – so as to channelise its focus on solarising agricultural feeders instead of pumps. This move would obviate the need for farmers to replace every existing pump in a village with a solar pump.
It will now bear 30 per cent of the cost of building a small solar plant to supply electricity to the agricultural feeder, which essentially supplies electricity to all the pumps in a village. Hitherto, under component C – which has now been changed – of the PM-KUSUM scheme, farmers were being provided 30 per cent subsidy from the Centre and another 30 per cent from their State government to replace their existing grid connected agricultural pumps with grid connected solar pumps.
“Now it was being felt that since farmers are not charged for the electricity supplied to agricultural pumps, being asked to pay 40 per cent of the cost of a solar pump was still not attractive enough for them, despite the offer of selling unused solar electricity generated by the pump to distribution companies,” said an official at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Under this new sub-scheme, the Centre will bear 30 per cent of the cost of building a small solar plant to supply electricity to the feeder