KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) scheme

The KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) scheme was announced in the Union Budget in 2018-19. It is a solar farming scheme to be introduced soon by government to provide additional income and water security to farmers. The scheme is for setting up solar power projects on the agriculture land and providing options to farmers to sell additional power to grid.

The scheme involving decentralized solar power production upto 28250 MW over a period of five years, will be implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, from the next fiscal year.


Aims of the Scheme
  • Promote decentralized solar power production
  • To support the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing the burden of subsidy to the agriculture sector
  • Reduce transmission losses
  • To promote energy efficiency and water conservation
  • Provide water security to farmers through provision of assured water sources through solar water pumps – both off-grid and grid connected
  • To provide reliable power to utilise the irrigation potential created by state irrigation departments
  • To fill the void in solar power production in the intermediate range between roof tops and large parks
Main features of this scheme
  • The government will spend 48,000 crore rupees over 10 years as central financial assistance (CFA).
  • The scheme aims to encourage the use of barren land for setting up solar power plants.
  • This programme will help set up more than 28 GW of combined solar capacity through these solar pumps.
  • Scheme incentivizes farmers to run solar farm water pumps.
Four components of the Scheme:
  • Setting up of 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Solar Power Plants
  • Installation of 17.50 Lakh Stand-alone Solar Pumps
  • Solarizing exisiting 10 Lakh Grid Connected Agriculture Pumps of 7,250 MW
  • Solarizing government tube wells of 8,250 MW capacity.
Targets of the Scheme
  • Setting up of 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Solar Power Plants
  • Installation of 17.50 Lakh Stand-alone Solar Pumps
  • Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid Connected Agriculture Pumps
  • 50 Thousand Tube-wells/Lift Irrigation Projects
Some Advantages of the scheme
  • Transmission losses and power theft would drop significantly.
  • As proposed in the scheme, the main priority will be to rely on Local generation of power.
  • It promotes decentralized solar power production.
  • The scheme would also promote energy efficiency, water conservation and water security to farmers.
  • The government’s plan to purchase the surplus power through electricity distribution companies will certainly increase agricultural incomes and reduce electricity losses.
  • The sale of excess power from farmers will discourage over-utilization of groundwater.
Possible limitations of the scheme
  • The feasibility of purchasing surplus solar power seems challenging. There is a need to address the issue of grid stability that this injection of surplus power is bound to create.
  • Balancing of all power grids is more important. Because power generation should work round the clock as electricity generated can’t be stored.
  • The existing electrical gridlines were created to depend on reliable and controllable generators of coal, oil and even hydroelectric power.
  • So, for inclusion of solar and wind power generators into the grid, a more precise balance will have to be created.
  • Variations in weather patterns make it more difficult for the grid operator to predict the balance of electrical energy that will be required to meet the demand.
  • Solar and wind power are fluctuating in nature which depend on sunlight and cloud conditions.
  • So to maintain a consistent round-the-clock power delivery the grid operators will need to have a back-up source of power in the form of coal or oil.
Need of the hour
  • Because of India’s sheer size, the variability factor considerably increases like when some areas have low consumption; others are likely to have high consumption.
  • So, more stability can be achieved by integrating the grids into all-India grids.
  • Attention also should be given to the stability of the grid; otherwise the grid network collapses due to the uncertainties of power supply and demand.
  • Expected advances in storage technology would also significantly improve grid stability.
  • Centre along with state governments should put in place adequate procedures to purchase the excess solar power from farmers.