Solar Solutions to Redefine Energy Management in Homes and Rural Communities

To address the growing energy needs and to reduce carbon emission, the Indian government has reimagined the national energy supply and demand management with a higher focus on solar. This is evident in the recent Union budget; several incentives offered to farmers and changes in the energy policy framework. The government has set a goal to reduce its current dependency on fossil fuel by 40%, which highlights the commitments made in solar energy as a source in the long-term

May 11, 2020. By News Bureau

According to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 70% of India’s rural households depend on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. India’s agriculture sector contributes to approximately 16% of its GDP and is heavily dependent on water and energy. While many parts of the country battles water scarcity, agriculture is severely affected due to lack of water and irregular connectivity to energy sources to pump water.

Out of the list of dependencies for these agricultural families, the nexus that exists between water and energy is critical to be understood to address this effectively. With shortage of water and energy in the country, policy makers are working towards innovative ways to address this growing challenge. Today, a strong focus on solar energy was brought about to promote agriculture. Not only as a solution to produce more clean energy, but also as a great source of business for investors.

Water pumps account for 10% of the world’s total electricity consumption. Ineffective hand and diesel pumps used in these residences will increase chances of excessive energy usage and negatively impacts their overall expenditure and productivity. 

Innovative water solutions powered by off-grid energy sources

  • Solar powered pumps: Given the growing importance solar powered pumps have received in this year’s Union budget, it highlights the relevance and reliance on this energy source in making farming viable. There are several off-grid pumping solutions in the market which delivers reliable and sustainable water supply to farm lands, cattle fields, in and around homes and for communities.
  • Solar powered water ATMS: These are smart card enabled water kiosks connected to water supply from groundwater or surface water post treatment, to offer safe drinking water to communities and households. This solution addresses some of the main challenges of transparency, accountability, providing a reliable and sustainable water supply. It is fully powered by solar energy ideal for a tropical country, like India apart from adopting and enabling the Digital India concept.
  • Solar powered water treatment: Access to water and clean drinking water is a huge challenge in the country with over 19% of the world’s people live in India without access to clean water. Water treatment solutions often require power sources to clean water. There are currently fully automated solutions which enable water treatment solutions and are powered by solar energy that treats turbidity, suspended solids, bacteria, virus etc from surface raw source water and minimizes water wastage significantly.
  • Solar powered waste water treatment plants: Enabling circular economy, waste water treatment plays a very critical role in making water reusable. Apart from this, it also has the potential to reduce a country’s waste production, to produce energy through methane harvesting, and the potential to produce natural fertilizer from the waste collected through the process. These waste water treatment plants which are also energy dependent can be powered by solar energy appliances/ technologies.

Sustainability and viability of renewable energy powered solutions or technologies

To address the growing energy needs and to reduce carbon emission, Indian government has reimagined the national energy supply and demand management with higher focus on solar. This is evident in the recent Union budget; several incentives offered to farmers and change in energy policy framework. The government has set a goal to reduce its current dependency on fossil fuel by 40%, which highlights the commitments made in solar energy as a source in the long-term.

Future of Solar pumps and technologies

Democratization of these technologies are largely dependent on making these products affordable and ensuring quality, efficiency and reliability. Availability of these products coupled with government incentivization to encourage the adoption of these products will help these solutions go a long way.

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