MNRE Raises Solar Capacity Addition Targets for KUSUM, Cuts Central Assistance

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has ramped up the targets of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM–KUSUM) program.

The program now hopes to achieve an enhanced solar capacity target of 30.8 GW by 2022 from the earlier 25.75 GW. The MNRE also reduced the amount of central financial assistance (CFA) that will be provided under the program to ₹340.35 billion (~$4.61 billion) from ₹344.22 billion (~$4.66 billion) previously.

The MNRE said that these scaled-up targets will be executed in 2020-21. Further implementation of the program will be considered based on external evaluation later.

The KUSUM program was announced last year with three components – A, B, and C. While component A’s objectives have remained unchanged, component B now aims to install 2 million standalone solar-power agricultural pumps from its previous target of 1.75 million. Component C was also revised to installing 1.5 million grid-connected agricultural pumps from 1 million earlier.

A brief overview of the revised solar capacity and CFA can be seen here:

PM-KUSUM Scheme-Component-wise Revised Solar Capacity and Financial Support

The MNRE also listed out its revised year-wise targets under the three components:

MNRE-Year-wise Targets Under the Three Components of PM-KUSUM Program

The Ministry also provided revised year-wise financial support requirements through gross budgetary support (GBS) and extra-budgetary resources (EBR), which can be seen below:

Year-wise Revised Central Financial Support Requirement through Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) and Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) for PM-KUSUM Program

In February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government was planning to expand the PM-KUSUM program to help two million farmers set up standalone solar agricultural pumps and 1.5 million farmers to set up grid-connected pumps. She said that under the program, farmers with fallow lands would be able to generate solar power to sell to the grid.

In September, the MNRE issued clarifications for the program. According to the clarifications, for Component B and Component C of the program, the state share of subsidy will be a minimum of 30% of the applicable benchmark cost or the cost discovered in auctions, whichever is lower.


Image credit: Surajmondol, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons