Let Solar Energy become useful to Increase Agriculture Growth in India

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The Union Government has set a target to double the agriculture income of farmers till 2022 which is possible if the growth of Agriculture sector of India accelerates. As the Union and State Governments have launched various schemes and programs which provide subsidies also for growth of agro-based industry in India, but still the agriculture sector of India requires more push of reforms and encouragement from the Government to boost the agriculture growth in India. Investment in agriculture sector is another way to lift up the growth in agriculture sector.

Renewable Energy like Wind Power and Solar energy can be good sources of revenue generation of farmers which would be further invested for the betterment of the agro-farming. The electricity generated from the solar power can also be utilized for various agriculture activities like it can be used for irrigation purposes and solar drying equipment can be used to dry reaped crops faster.

On the other hand, India is also pushing for more and more generation of power by using solar energy as the amount of energy reaches to earth is enormous and sunlight is a never ending resource. India has set a target of 100GW solar power generation till 2021-22. While in 2017, the installed capacity cross over 20 GW in 2017, with 18.4 GW in the form of ground-mounted projects and 1.6 GW on rooftops. These figures of solar power production gives an opportunity to invent various systems and link solar power systems with the agriculture sector. Solar energy can be used in agriculture in numerous ways like it saves money to pay electricity bills, reducing pollution and dependency as it ensures self-sufficiency in power sector.

How to produce solar energy from sun

With a view to produce solar energy one can install solar parks with capacity of 250 MW at perfect locations in India. The government has increased the solar park target to 40 GW. By establishing these parks, there will be generation of solar energy which would reduce the dependency of farmers on fuels for various agro-activities.

To generate solar energy from sunlight, there requires photovoltaic cell (PV). Both rooftop photovoltaic systems (RPVS) and Ground Mounted PV cells can be used for production of solar energy.

Ground-mounted PV solar projects needs around 4-5 acres of land per MW, and 120,000 to 200,000 acres of land are required to meet the 40 GW solar park target.

In the absence of any surplus land, it is advisable to put dual use of low yield agricultural land. Major proposed solar parks have faced the obstacles due to policy of acquisition of land. To increase the revenue of farmers, the trend is this to identify the low yield agriculture land and lease them out from farmers and pay them rent for the same. The Central and State Government is encouraging farmers to go for poly house farming by providing 45-60 per cent subsidies on poly house investment.

A farmer may also plan to install rooftop PV cells on the roof of these poly house structures by adopting modern techniques of farming.

These PV panels are economically cheaper and has low maintenance cost, they have a durability for 25-30 years. Solar energy would really be helpful to boost the agriculture growth by increasing the revenue generation of farmers. Moreover, solar panels can be obtained after availing subsidy from the Government and also get Rs.2/- per unit discount on domestic as well as agriculture electricity consumed.

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