A renewed push on solar-powered irrigation would accelerate India’s energy transition

India’s mission to deploy some 2 million off-grid solar-powered irrigation pumps is making sluggish progress, with only one-eighth of the target achieved so far, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) which urges the central and state governments to remove bottlenecks in the installation of solar pumps. Solar-powered irrigation is a huge opportunity for India,” says IEEFA Research Analyst. But despite the clear multiple commercial benefits, the rollout of solar pumps has been much slower than anticipated. The report calls for a renewed push on installation of solar-powered pumps under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s Rs34,422 crore (US$4.7 billion) PM-KUSUM scheme, which has a 2022 target of 30.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity, including about 2 million off-grid pumps.