Solar Irrigation

‘Solar Irrigation in India’ Knowledge Portal

Till about 2009-10, almost all of the couple of thousand solar irrigation systems installed in India were for ‘technology demonstration’. These were implemented in controlled, academic environments with the objective of establishing technical feasibility of pumping water for irrigation using solar energy. Financially, solar technologies were considered unviable, especially for agriculture with high energy demand and limited purchasing power of small farmers. Not many people could have imagined what happened in the next decade.

Between 2010 and 2020, the number of solar irrigation pumps in India grew to more than 250,000 through a mix of improvements in panel efficiency, declining unit prices and aggressive government support. As the numbers continue to grow, our understanding of their functioning, technical and financial business models, impact on agriculture and water resources, promotional strategies, and institutional capacity requirements are also growing. In 2018, acknowledging the potential of ‘solar irrigation’ in reshaping India’s massive irrigation economy, the Government of India announced KUSUM (later, PM-KUSUM; Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan) which now boasts of an ambitious target of installing more than 3.5 million solar irrigation pumps over the next few years.


In 2019, GIZ-India and IWMI came together for the project ‘Solar Irrigation Expansion in India’ to facilitate better decision making in the process of scaling and mainstreaming of solar irrigation in India, specifically the Government of India’s KUSUM initiative and associated policies in different states of India. As part of this project, IWMI and GIZ India have agreed to co-develop a knowledge portal to share the growing knowledge and data on various aspects of solar irrigation in India.

Featured Articles
December 11, 2019 Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
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teaser Posted on 10 Mar, 2022 02:20 PM

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testing publication date Posted on 03 Mar, 2022 08:15 PM

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Water contamination and pollution - A growing challenge for health and biodiversity
Contamination and pollution of water is on rise in India. Here is all the information you need to know on the causes and effects of water contamination and pollution. Posted on 02 Mar, 2022 04:28 PM

Where is water on earth located?

Water on earth exists in two forms, freshwater and salt waterLess than 3 percent of the water found on earth is freshwater, and the remaining 97 percent is salt water found in the oceans.

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this is teaser Posted on 02 Mar, 2022 03:36 PM

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A water warrior’s fight springs hope for springs!
Shailendra Patel, a passionate water warrior from Pune, is on a mission to save a live spring in the city. It is important that he is heard and action taken! Posted on 07 Feb, 2022 02:34 PM

Springs, symbols of life, freedom, spontaneity draw unique images in our minds – of a bubbling rush of water rolling boisterously, snaking over rocks, picking up pebbles and sand along its path full of jumping fish, occasional frogs, insects, algae – surrounded by green wild bushes and thick vegetation.

A bright future for solar-powered irrigation?
Currently, drip irrigation is only practised in 2.85 percent of the total irrigated area in the country.
Posted on 13 Jul, 2021 02:52 PM

Currently, drip irrigation is only practised in 2.85 percent of the total irrigated area in the country. In Rajasthan, it is slowly taking root riding piggyback on solar water pumps which are increasingly being used as an energy source for irrigation. A farmer availing a solar pump subsidy is required to irrigate at least 0.5 hectare of his farm using a drip system.

NGT orders 100 percent treatment of sewage entering rivers
Policy matters this week Posted on 11 Dec, 2019 12:05 PM

Ensure 100 percent treatment of sewage entering rivers: NGT to authorities

Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)