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The World Bank Water Week
April 7, 2016
India’s Challenge of Groundwater Governance:
Bracing up for the Coming Solar Pump ...
At Independence, India inherited the world’s largest canal
infrastructure.. But since the 1960’s, it has emerged as the wo...
Power subsidies are the key driver. In 2015, 20 million electric tubewells used
170 billion kWh of power to draw 210 BCM o...
India’s Perverse Energy-
Groundwater Nexus
GW demand management, when successful, has
invariably implicated power supply interventions
• Andhra Pradesh Community-led...
Figure 1 a Electricity Network Before Figure 1 b Electricity Network after
Modi’s Gujarat: Demand side management through
...
Modi’s Gujarat: Community-driven decentralized MAR in
hard-rock aquifers
Meghal basin drainage netwrork Profusion of check...
Modi’s Gujarat is the only state in western India where
groundwater levels are improving.. And agriculture is booming
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
0
200000
400000
600000
800000
1000000
1200000
1400000
1600000
20012002200320042005200620072...
Comes along the solar
irrigation pump.. To
transform the
architecture of India’s
groundwater economy..
• PV cell costs falling faster than predicted: US
1500/kWp in 2012; US $ 800/kWp in 2016; US $
350-400/kWp by 2022?
• Sola...
Solar insolation is
high where
groundwater
depletion is a crisis.
Potential for disruption by solar pump juggernaut
Grid p...
How to brace up for the solar pump juggernaut
Current policy Desired Policy AuxiliaryPolicy
Solar Pump as green energy
Sol...
India’s ambitious solar target:
100 GW by 2022
To be achieved mostly through
MW scale greenfield projects in
remote sites....
Solarising 10 million 10 kW grid-connected solar irrigation pumps give
100 GW solar capacity targeted by 2022
150 billion
...
150 billion
kWh/year of green
power generated
Solar farmer earns US $
1000/year net by selling
40% of solar power to
the g...
IWMI’s Pilot Project on
Dhundhi Village Solar Power Producers’ Cooperative
Services offered:
1. Absorb transaction
costs o...
Thank You…
IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program
Five
Problems,
One
Solution..
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India’s Challenge of Groundwater Governance: Bracing up for the Coming Solar Pump Juggernaut

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Presented by Tushaar Shah, Senior Fellow at IWMI, at the World Bank Group's Water Week held on April 4 - 7, 2016 in Washington, USA.

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India’s Challenge of Groundwater Governance: Bracing up for the Coming Solar Pump Juggernaut

  1. 1. The World Bank Water Week April 7, 2016 India’s Challenge of Groundwater Governance: Bracing up for the Coming Solar Pump Juggernaut Tushaar Shah International Water Management Institute
  2. 2. At Independence, India inherited the world’s largest canal infrastructure.. But since the 1960’s, it has emerged as the world’s largest groundwater irrigator
  3. 3. Power subsidies are the key driver. In 2015, 20 million electric tubewells used 170 billion kWh of power to draw 210 BCM of groundwater 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 India: Number of Electric Pumps: 1970-2015 No. of electric pumps in irrigation use (100) 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 India: Electricity Use in Groundwater Irrigation (m kWh) Tofal Electricity Use in Agriculture (m kWh) 2913.4 6435.7 6760.5 7545.5 6864.7 7651.47892.0 8725.5 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 India: average KWH/pump/year Power consumption/pump (kWh/year) When political leaders introduced farm power subsidies during the 1970’s to get farmers’ votes, they hardly realised the consequences to follow 20 years later…
  4. 4. India’s Perverse Energy- Groundwater Nexus
  5. 5. GW demand management, when successful, has invariably implicated power supply interventions • Andhra Pradesh Community-led GWG experiment • Changing rice planting calendar in Punjab • Remotely metered farm power and TOD-based power pricing for farmers in West Bengal • Temporary, winter-season 110-day power connections in Madhya Pradesh • Power rationing and MAR in Gujarat
  6. 6. Figure 1 a Electricity Network Before Figure 1 b Electricity Network after Modi’s Gujarat: Demand side management through Feeder separation and farm-power rationing
  7. 7. Modi’s Gujarat: Community-driven decentralized MAR in hard-rock aquifers Meghal basin drainage netwrork Profusion of check dams built by people, with government support
  8. 8. Modi’s Gujarat is the only state in western India where groundwater levels are improving.. And agriculture is booming
  9. 9. 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 0 200000 400000 600000 800000 1000000 1200000 1400000 1600000 200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015 Gujarat Number of electric tubewells power consumption in agriculture (million kWh) Average power use/tubewell (kWh/year) 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 India No. of electric pumps in irrigation use (100) Average kWh/pump has been rising in India but falling in Gujarat
  10. 10. Comes along the solar irrigation pump.. To transform the architecture of India’s groundwater economy..
  11. 11. • PV cell costs falling faster than predicted: US 1500/kWp in 2012; US $ 800/kWp in 2016; US $ 350-400/kWp by 2022? • Solar irrigation pump numbers in India growing faster than expected: <1000 during 1985-2012; 45,000 during 2012-2015; 4-5 million during 2016- 2022? • Solar pump size in use increasing faster than thought likely: 0.5-2 kWp until 2012; 5kWp standard today; 8.5 kWp in use in Bihar • Non-subsidy solar pump market already a reality Democratization of energy… grid-independence presents a formidable groundwater governance challenge. With the rise of solar irrigation pumps, India is at a déjà vu moment.. Energy subsidies casually introduced 40 years ago created unsustainable groundwater economy today.. Solar pumps mindlessly promoted today will accelerate depletion like never before..
  12. 12. Solar insolation is high where groundwater depletion is a crisis. Potential for disruption by solar pump juggernaut Grid power Solar power ~1200 kWh/kW/year ~1500-1800 kWh/kW/year Half or more during nights All day time Frequent interruptions, voltage fluctuations uninterrupted; predictably variable voltage Subsidized marginal cost Zero marginal cost 0 500 1000 1500 2000 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dhundhi Solar COOP (54 kW): solar energy generated and used for irrigation (kWh)
  13. 13. How to brace up for the solar pump juggernaut Current policy Desired Policy AuxiliaryPolicy Solar Pump as green energy Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop (SPaRC) capital cost subsidy of 90%+ Subsidy tied to micro- irrigation and limited to 2- 3 kWp Solar pumps owners use solar and grid power for pumping groundwater Limit capital cost subsidy to US $ 500/kWp, and keep reducing Solar pumps grid connected, net-metered with power purchase guarantee at ~ US c 8-9/kWh An incentive FiT of US c 11- 12/kWh to solar farmers who surrender grid connection. Solar farmer remains net buyer of grid power Solar coops become net sellers of power to the grid Solar farmers are dispersed and costly to reach Clusters of solar farmers form a cooperative connected to the grid at a single point. Demarket Grid Power Ban new grid power connections for tubewells Increase night power supply Give farmers right to reclaim surrendered grid connections up to 2 years Promote solar federations as IPPs Subsidize investment in micro-grids.
  14. 14. India’s ambitious solar target: 100 GW by 2022 To be achieved mostly through MW scale greenfield projects in remote sites. But SPaRC offers a whole new alternative path to this target.
  15. 15. Solarising 10 million 10 kW grid-connected solar irrigation pumps give 100 GW solar capacity targeted by 2022 150 billion kWh/year of green power generated Solar farmer earns US $ 1000/year net by selling 40% of solar power to the grid DISCOMs save US $ 10 billion/year in power subsidies Groundwater use in irrigation drops from 240 BCM to 190-200 BCM/year CO2 emissions from groundwater pumping drops by 110 mmt/year Gains from SPaRC Taking tubewells off the grid power releases 30% of grid capacity
  16. 16. 150 billion kWh/year of green power generated Solar farmer earns US $ 1000/year net by selling 40% of solar power to the grid DISCOMs save US $ 10 billion/year in power subsidies Groundwater use in irrigation drops from 240 BCM to 190-200 BCM/year CO2 emissions from groundwater pumping drops by 110 mmt/year Gains from SPaRC Taking tubewells off the grid power releases 30% of grid capacity 100 GW solar capacity through MW-scale solar projects gives India only a green energy mix but little else.
  17. 17. IWMI’s Pilot Project on Dhundhi Village Solar Power Producers’ Cooperative Services offered: 1. Absorb transaction costs of pooling surplus power 2. Assist member farmers in maximizing power sales 3. Add solar capacity over time
  18. 18. Thank You… IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program Five Problems, One Solution..

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