Solar irrigation in India
India is home to more than 90% of the world’s off-grid solar capacity installed for irrigation. The number of solar pumps grew from less than 5,000 in 2010 and 2011, to more than 300,000 by 2021. This rapid expansion in solar irrigation is driven chiefly by falling photovoltaic (PV) prices and capital subsidies offered by governments and civil society organizations. Many experiments and field pilots with technical, financial, and institutional business models are being led in different parts of the country. Knowledge around the potentials impacts of agri-solarization on different stakeholders is also rapidly evolving as the experiments mature. This project, supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), aims to understand, synthesize, and draw insights from these experiments in order to identify opportunities for more effective, inclusive and sustainable energy transition in Indian agriculture. The overall goal of the project is to facilitate better decision making in the process of scaling and mainstreaming of solar irrigation in India, specifically through the Government of India’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) initiative and associated policies in different states. The project will achieve this through field-based case studies, analytical and decision-support tools, knowledge products and solar events hosted by GIZ and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI); all undertaken with a view to fitting solarization strategies to local contexts.