Nidhi Tewari

Solar energy might be free but the equipment needed to tap into it is expensive. Can farmers benefit without falling into the subsidy trap?

Indian farmers depend on groundwater for irrigation but often, there is a shortage of electricity that is required to pump out this water. While diesel pumps are an option, they are costly to run. A better alternative is to tap into freely available solar power. However, this technology is quite expensive at present and effective subsidies and incentives drive its usage. Another catch to this ‘free’ power situation is the perception that if groundwater were available more freely, then farmers might end up exploiting it.

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