Centre extends deadline for laggard solar scheme

Pace of implementation of PM-KUSUM was significantly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Minister

February 03, 2023 09:58 pm | Updated February 04, 2023 01:18 am IST - NEW DELHI

File image for representation.

File image for representation. | Photo Credit: S. Siva Saravanan

The deadline for a key scheme by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to install 30,000 MW solar power capacity in rural India by 2022, has now been pushed to March 2026, Power Minister R.K. Singh said in written response to a query in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Uttham Mahabhiyan), under which ₹34,422 crore will be spent by the Centre, has three parts: Having farmers or farmer groups install solar power plants worth 10,000 MW; installing 20 lakh solar-powered agriculture pumps that aren’t connected to the grid (off-grid) and, converting 15 lakh agriculture pumps, already connected to the grid, into solar.

As of December 31, 2022, only 88.46 MW of solar capacity had been added; 181,058 solar pumps had been installed and 1,174 grid-connected pumps converted.

“The pace of implementation of the PM-KUSUM was significantly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and State implementing agencies sought extension in the time-line for execution of projects under the scheme. Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has also conducted third party evaluation of the Scheme and based on the recommendations, the Scheme has been extended till 31.3.2026,” said Mr. Singh.

Rajasthan, with 62.5 MW, led the States with installed power plants by a wide margin while Himachal Pradesh finished second with 19.7 MW. Rajasthan also had the most ‘off-grid’ pumps at 54,195, followed by Haryana at 40,216, and it also led all States with 1,144 grid-connected solar pumps. Kerala came in next with 30. The rest of States had zero such pumps.

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