Energy Efficiency in Agriculture sector
Agriculture is an important sector of the Indian economy, according to Ministry of Agriculture it accounts for 14% of India’s GDP, about 11% of its exports. About half of the population relies on agriculture as its principal source of income and it is a source of raw material for a large number of industries.
India`s Agriculture sector consumes about 140 billion units a year which is equivalent to around 18% of total National electricity consumption of India. As per CEA, there are about 19 million pump sets installed in agriculture sector. Also, annual addition of 0.25 – 0.5 million new pump sets is realized in agriculture sector. The average efficiency level of in-efficient non-star rated pump sets are in the range of 25%-30% and efficiency level of star rated energy efficient pump sets is 40%-45%. Therefore energy saving potential of 25% is estimated by mere replacement of in-efficient pump sets with star rated pump sets.
Figure 1: Plan-wise growth of electricity consumption in agricultural sector (source: CEA, June 2012)
Figure 1 : Agriculture Sector Electricity Consumption
Indian agricultural sector is characterized by the supply of electricity to the farmers at highly subsidized rates. In some of the states electricity is supplied to the farmers at free of cost. This subsidized tariff structure has not only increased the subsidy burden on the states but has also resulted in inefficient use of energy in the agricultural sector. The agricultural pump sets in India have a baseline efficiency of 20-25% as which is well below the international average, as well the efficiency of many pump set models are available in India (40-45%).
Agriculture Demand Side Management Initiatives
- Efficiency up gradation of existing pumpsets –
In order to accelerate DSM measures in agricultural sector, BEE initiated Agricultural Demand Side Management Program (Ag-DSM) for upgrading the efficiency of the pump sets. The efficiency up gradation was carried out through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
In order to develop the effective policy initiative, BEE is assisting DISCOMs & State Energy Departments to introduce the regulatory mechanism to mandate the use of BEE star labelled pump sets for every new agriculture electricity connections released, so that the energy efficiency potential on new connections can be tapped by introducing this policy initiative. This has already been done in Haryana & Punjab. In these states more than 40000 star rated EEPS pumps have been installed under mandatory regulations reflecting energy savings of 530 MU.
Apart from mandatory regulation initiated by Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan government has also issued a notification for providing financial assistance @ Rs. 750/HP to farmers opting for installation of energy efficient pumpsets.