As a country dominated by the agricultural sector, which employs about half the population, India has the largest irrigated area in the world. India’s 26 million groundwater pumps, which mainly run on diesel or electricity, are an important part of the country’s agricultural productivity. However, these water pumps have created various challenges to both farmers and the government.
Under India’s National Solar Mission program, the central and state governments support farmers not only by providing a capital cost subsidy on solar pump systems, but also by creating an enabling framework on their deployment by actively engaging key stakeholders. The enabling environment created by the GoI, coupled with effective and innovative context-specific delivery models, has resulted in noteworthy initial successes. Although some challenges remain, these models offer potentially replicable strategies to support solar irrigation pumping systems in other countries.