India must ensure energy efficiency in irrigation: Experts

With agriculture’s share of electricity consumption at 18 per cent of total usage, experts and officials on Monday said that the country must move toward energy efficiency in irrigation to ensure food security and meet demand for water.

“To tackle energy security the European Union [EU] has brought policy and financial experts as well as European business to India, offering concrete solutions in this regard,”Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to India, said during a workshop — titled ‘Agricultural Demand Side Management (AgDSM): Adopting Technologies to Boost Efficiencies’ — organised by Federation of India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the European Commission.

Mr. Kozlowski added that partnership between India and the EU would facilitate policy dialogue, bring in best practices, business solutions and joint research and innovation, and would help with finding financing models for clean energy and climate change.

More pumpsets

In his address, Bureau of Energy Efficiency Additional Secretary B.P. Pandey pointed out that about 20.27 million electrified pumpsets had been installed.

“Due to the increasing demand for water to meet the agricultural needs, about 0.25 to 0.5 million new pump sets are being added annually…By adoption of high-efficiency pumps about 25-30 per cent energy can be saved,” he said, adding that the industry could supply sufficient number of pumpsets but there was a need to work out a feasible finance model.

Nitin Zamre, the Managing Director of ICF International India, said Centre-State coordination in pushing for the policy was ineffective and there was a demand-supply gap of star-rated pumps.

“Also, concentration of agriculture pump manufacturers is in limited locations and the high initial cost of energy efficient pumps becomes a deterrent. There is a need to make international technology easily accessible and mindset change towards transition to energy efficient technology,” he added.