Scaling Solar Application for Agricultural Use

Scaling Solar Application for Agricultural Use:

The ISA’s Programme on Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use (SSAAU) focuses on providing greater energy access and a sustainable irrigation solution to farmers through deployment of Solar Water Pumping Systems in member countries. To make the projects viable and affordable, the ISA has aggregated demand from various countries in an effort to substantially reduce the system costs.

Building on the successful experience of the aggregation model for procuring LEDs lights in India, the ISA secretariat undertook a global tendering process for an international competitive bidding for design, testing, manufacturing, supply, installation, commissioning and provide maintenance services for solar water members in ISA member countries. The offer of M/s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Government of India Enterprise to provide its services for conducting an International Competitive Bid (ICB) for Price Discovery and for Project Management Consultancy (PMC) for Solar Water Pumping Systems (SWPS) on behalf of ISA, was accepted through a transparent Swiss Challenge Process. An International Bid Committee was constituted in April, 2019 to support the ICB. The draft Bid Document was forwarded to NFPs, CPs and Stakeholders for comments and suggestions. The ICB was floated on 16th May 2019 by EESL1.

Complete Report on ICB/SWPS

ISA Country Missions

The ISA secretariat, supported by KMPG-a global advisory firm, recently concluded country missions to four countries of Mali, Togo, Niger, Benin and Uganda (with a cumulative demand of 1 lakhs solar water pumping systems) to get a ‘buy-in’ for ISA’s Programmes and to understand the ground level challenges and issues. The mission visits provided critical insights to ISA on various aspects and factors critical to the success of solar water pumping Programme. During ISA’s country missions, extensive stakeholder consultations were held with nodal agencies, line ministries, research organization, international development organizations and funding agencies. The meetings were also attended by the respective cabinet ministers of energy departments along with representatives from the Embassies. The solar water pumping Programme of ISA received an enthusiastic response from all stakeholders and the line ministries showed their keen interest in collaborating with ISA

While there was a general consensus on the utility of solar water pumping system in enabling better energy access, reliable irrigation, and increased crop productivity, the lack of affordable financing emerged as a major challenge to the adoption and deployment of technology on ground:

  • Limited/ No funds available with governments due to high fiscal deficits and excessive debt
  • Absence of a dedicated programme by multi-lateral and bi-lateral institutions for funding of solar water pumping projects
  • Limited line of credit from other countries such as India:
  • Limited buying capacity of end-users due to low agriculture income:
Expert Team Mission

ISA Solar Cooling Initiative:

The ISA is taking this initiative to help Member countries to develop solar energy linked cold-chains and cooling systems for agricultural uses. The ISA Solar Cooling Initiative (I-SCI) has been launched under the Programme Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use (SSAAU) The I-SCI will be making the following interventions:

  • Develop associated innovative finance and business models to create integrated cold-chain solutions - that bring economic value to farmers/producers and help contribute to SDGs such as access to nutrition and health, by promoting appropriate cooling technologies to secure the sensitive products while connecting them with consumers;
  • Encourage the use of sustainable lower-GWP & energy efficient cooling technologies, made feasible through solar energy.
  • Mobilize finance after assessing and aggregating demand for solar cooling and cold chain systems with the help of stakeholders and partners.
  • Promote knowledge dissemination, applied research, capacity building & training, and industry engagement to encourage adoption of affordable cooling solutions with special emphasis on post-harvest pre-conditioning facilities
  • Work with governments, industry, technical institutes, national and international implementing agencies to develop a future ready workforce with the ability to properly design, install and maintain cold-chain systems in ISA Member countries.

For the I-SCI, knowledge support is provided by National Centre for Cold-Chain Development (NCCD), research and academic support is provided by University of Birmingham, UK.

Download: ISCI Brochure