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Solar Agriculture Feeders: An Attractive Alternative compared to Solar Pumpsets in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh -  A Discussion Paper
Published by Knowledge In Civil Society
with support from
Centre for World Solidarity, Prayas (Energy Group), People’s Monitoring Group for Electricity Regulation, and SWAPNAM

Sreekumar N- Trustee (KICS) and Member, Prayas (Energy Group)
M Thimma Reddy– Convenor, People’s Monitoring Group for Electricity Regulation
BN Prabhakar– President, SWAPNAM, an NGO working on water and power related issues

 This discussion paper presents an alternate option for using solar energy for agriculture pumpsets.

Electricity powered agriculture pumpsets is the mainstay for agriculture in Telangana and AP. This area has many challenges for the farmer, Distribution Company and the state government. Farmers invest heavily in well based irrigation, but are unhappy with the poor quality of electricity supply. Distribution Company is unhappy with the low revenue from a large number of consumers spread over a large area. State has to bear the subsidy burden to support low tariff for the farmers.

Solar power offers some hope by way of providing quality electricity supply during the day time, which is convenient to farmer. Distribution Company also finds it attractive since it reduces the burden to allocate generation capacity for agriculture. It is environment friendly and reduces distribution losses, if generation is distributed.


There are three possible solar options for agriculture pumping - large centralised solar plants, solar powered agriculture feeders and solar pumpsets. All options need to be encouraged, but prioritised based on the strength and weakness of each option in different circumstances. We feel that for states like Telangana and AP, solar powered agriculture feeder is a more farmer-centric and equitable option. In addition, investment burden on the government is lower, quality of supply is better and maintenance is easier.

 Solar feeder is thus an investment program with good returns, compared to the subsidy driven solar pumpset program. This paper describes the solar feeder option and recommends that a few pilot projects be taken up to assess any fine-tuning aspects, before scaling up.

[Download E-Copy(English)]      [Dowload E-Copy (Telugu)]    


Electricity for All: Ten Ideas towards Turning Rhetoric into Reality
- A Discussion Paper , Prayas, May 2010

This discussion paper suggests few concrete action ideas that could be taken up to accelerate effective electricity access for poor.

Even after six decades after independence, and two decades since the arrival of ‘reforms’, the poor continue to miss the electricity bus. The first decade of reforms had no explicit focus on poor. The few recent initiatives like the Rajiv Gandhi household electrification program or quantification of standards of performance for distribution companies are yet to yield results. There is an overwhelming feeling in civil society that the basic needs of the poor have been neglected, while there is disproportionate interest in market related issues, which immediately benefit large consumers. This paper suggests ten concrete action ideas, which could result in a quick improvement of electricity service to the poor. These ideas have to be implemented by regulators, distribution companies and the Government. These are techno-financially feasible and can be adopted within the existing framework.



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