Online Training and Capacity Building Program on Knowledge Management Agri PV Plants and RE Grid Integration

The Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), Centre –World Water Council and the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) organised an Online Training and Capacity Building Program on Knowledge Management Agri PV Plants and RE Grid Integration on 12-13 August 2021. The program was supported by National Solar Energy Federation of India(NSEFI).

Shri Bhagwant Khuba, Honourable Minister of State, Chemicals and Fertilizers and New and Renewable Energy, in his inaugural address, said that India is full of energy and its energy future is bright and secure. He elaborated that despite various challenges like COVID-19 disruption to supply chain etc., India was projected to emerge as a leading Renewable energy developer and achieve its target set by 2030. Hon’ble MoS emphasized, “India believes that access to energy must be affordable and reliable and only then socio-economic transformations can take place”. He praised the idea of co-locating Solar-PV and Agriculture together which will transform the lives of farmers and their livelihood and Hon’ble MoS ensured that the ministry will support such innovation to be implemented on large scale.

The program was attended by participants from Central & State Governments, Power departments, CERC and SERC, all State Electricity Boards and its constituent Corporates, CPSUs SPSUs and other relevant stakeholders.

The importance and significance for reconciling agricultural activities with the generation of solar PV power on the same land area - by growing crops as well as harvesting energy through solar PV installations was the focus area of Technical session-1. Under this approach, several benefits accrue such as a significant increase in land use efficiency, increased added value for land in rural areas close to urban energy demand centres and opportunities for new farming practices and increased plant growth besides an increase in the income of the farmers.

In technical session-2 the panellists pointed out the benefits and advantages of Agro-PV plants and Renewable Energy Integration with the grid. How Solar Energy can be integrated with the different agricultural practices and change the energy scenario. As an emerging economy, India’s demand for power has increased by almost 40% over the last five years. The focus increasingly has shifted towards solar power capacities additions which now undercut thermal generators in terms of price per unit of energy (Levelized cost of energy, LCOE). Moreover, the Indian Government has set itself an ambitious goal of achieving 300GW of installed capacity of solar photovoltaics by 2030 in response to international efforts to decarbonise the economy.

The Session called out the way to drive the energy transition in India through practising Agri-PV. The need to accelerate the deployment of advanced renewable energy solutions and different government schemes like PM KUSUM, to promote the usage of Solar energy in agricultural fields. This deployment should also consider Energy-Water-Food security. Hence, it is imperative to use the same piece of land for Energy Generation, Food Production and saving Water losses.

Speakers pointed out that the economics of renewable energy for electricity generation with the agricultural sector will be a win-win solution. This practice will solve many issues all together i.e., doubling farmers income, accelerating solar energy proliferation, Food-Energy-Water Nexus and Climate Change.

Please find the presentations below:

Technical Session-1:

Mr. Tobias Winter, Director, Indo German Energy Forum –SO (IGEF)

Mr. Sascha Krause-Tünker Geschäftsführer Next2Sun GmbH

Dr. Priyabrata Santra, Principal Scientist, ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute

Mr. Maximillian Vorast, Research Scientist Fraunhofer ISE

Technical Session-2:

Dr. Arun K. Tripathi, Director General, National Institute of Solar Mission(NISE)

Mr. S. Pulipaka, CEO, National Solar Energy Federation of India Ltd

Mr. Shravan Sampath, Chief Executive Officer, Oakridge Energy

Mr. Pravin Goyal, DGM, GIPCL

Mr. Phadnis Sanjeev, Senior Technical Manager, Jain Irrigation