Maha Govt Will Use Solar to Provide 8 Hours of Daytime Power Supply to Farmers

Maha Govt Will Use Solar to Provide 8 Hours of Daytime Power Supply to Farmers

Given the farmers’ demand for regular power supply during the daytime, the Maharashtra Energy Ministry has decided to use solar power to make sure their requirements are met. Farming involves the operation of irrigation pumps as well as running mechanised machinery, all of which need electricity. 

This comes as the power supply in rural regions is not frequent, leading to the farmers working mostly during night time. Farmers say that this concern has been unaddressed for decades and load-shedding during the daytime has become a common practice at this point. 

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Speaking to The Indian Express, State Power Minister, Nitin Raut said, “We have decided to provide solar energy, which will serve a twin purpose. First, it will help provide uninterrupted power supply to farmers in the fields for at least eight hours daily in the daytime. Second, 10,000 villages that have remained without electricity can get power using solar energy.”

“Solar energy was inevitable, so as to cope with the rising demand for power during the day by the agriculture sector,” Raut added while mentioning that the energy department has been drafting the five-year plan. 

Speaking on the expenses, Raut said that since power supply for the farmers is subsidized, officials had to look for an alternative renewable source of energy like solar to reduce the expenditure in the long-term. 

As per officials from the energy department, a rough estimate of the subsidies provided to farmers and allied sectors amounts to nearly ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 crores per year. As the demand for power shoots up during the summer, the cost of energy also sees an increase, the officials added.

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Meanwhile, the Energy Minister added that the state will be in a “position to generate 17,385 MW from solar energy with an investment worth ₹75,000 crore.” These projects will be conducted via public-private partnerships, the Energy Minister added.

“The surplus solar energy will help farmers receive eight hours of power during the day. And part of the solar energy could be provided to the industrial sector. Since the solar energy cost will be lower compared to thermal, it would boost both agriculture and industrial sectors,” Raut was quoted as saying. 

He went on to say that the government is looking to bring five lakh pumps under solar energy across the state within the next five years. The state is also looking to provide solar-based electricity to around 10,000 households in remote locations across Maharashtra.

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