Bookmark and Share

Punjab fails with its harebrained solar scheme for farmers

3 Comment

Indian state governments keep announcing poorly thought out solar policies which fail to get implemented due to poor execution and planning. Haryana had come out with a solar policy making it mandatory for solar installations for a commercial/residential construction with a minimum area. But that scheme turned out to be a cropper, as the central government reduced the subsidy for rooftop solar installations from 30% to 15%. The state government has obviously not consulted the center before coming out with this policy. Tamil Nadu is famous for announcing a 3000 MW policy and then making a mess of it, as poor transmission infrastructure and funding led to its downfall.

Now Punjab joins the list with its policy of buying solar power from famers failing to take off. The government had announced that they would buy power from farmers with at 1 MW solar installation for Rs 7.04/unit. However, they did not think it through in terms of implementation. They did not analyze how a farmer would come up with the equity capital for an Rs 6-7 Crore project. They also did not think about the fact that a farmer would have little knowledge about a solar farm in terms of project financing, feasibility etc. As a result the whole scheme has become a dud.

The problem lies with the policy makers and the Indian governance system which is led by the IAS officers. There is almost no expertise in government officials as most come to the system either through exams or favors. Mediocrity rules the government departments with cesspool of corruption. Accountability hardly exists and failures do not cause any firings. The problems being faced by renewable energy in India is a problem of the whole system on which it is built on. If the government had better and decently educated officials, then most of these issues would not arise. However, we are stuck with a system where the government is full of educated illiterates.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. pramod ranjan arora

    The land of Punjab is highly fertile, therefore, farming of electricity is not profitable venture. Cost of land is very very high in Punjab and the Solar PV projects are neither techno- economically feasible nor justified.
    As you are well conversant that the price of solar PV has been declining drastically, subsequently the subsidy. It is not advisable to provide subsidy because it creates burden on the government and develops wrong habits in the public.
    Poor transmission system is existing through out India (Not only in Tamil Nadu)

  2. Duraiswamy

    Mr .Arora you forget that Solar Farming along with farming below the panels substantially improves income levels of farmers. The idea is excellent as it has already been established in Japan. The problem was with the poorly drafted scheme. Solar Developers should have been asked to partner the farmers with profit sharing.
    In Tamilnadu the present Government has no sincere interest in such schemes. TANGEDCO is bankrupt.

  3. pramod ranjan arora

    Thanking you Mr. Duraiswamy for giving information. Will you give me the idea of solar farming along the farming existing in Japan. At this juncture, I would like to say that such experiment should be done in other states and later on it may be implemented in Punjab. Such experiment should not be carried out in Punjab, since land grows gold.