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India Agrivoltaics Alliance Launched, Marking Milestone in Solar-Agriculture Integration

"The success of agrivoltaics will depend on the creation of the appropriate institutional mechanisms and business models that create incentives for the farmers to use both water and electricity judiciously," said Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Parvathy Pillai
NSEFI hosted the inaugural India Agrivoltaics Summit that marked the launch of the India Agrivoltaics Alliance (IAA) (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)
NSEFI hosted the inaugural India Agrivoltaics Summit that marked the launch of the India Agrivoltaics Alliance (IAA) (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)

Agrivoltaics, the integration of solar energy production and agricultural practices, holds immense potential to revolutionize modern agriculture. Recognizing the significant promise of this practice, the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) took a commendable step by hosting the inaugural India Agrivoltaics Summit (IAS) in New Delhi on October 30, 2023.

This pivotal event marked the launch of the India Agrivoltaics Alliance (IAA), supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the India Climate Collaborative (ICC), which is poised to drive the integration of solar energy and agriculture across the nation. Notably, this endeavour is set to bring together 12 organizations from the solar energy and agricultural sectors, fostering a dynamic synergy between these vital industries for a greener future.

Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), aptly pointed out that while there is substantial potential for agri-photovoltaics (agri-PV), the agricultural sector deals with its own set of challenges. Foremost among them is the need to incentivize farmers to adopt practices that conserve both electricity and water resources. He further added that the primary objective of the Agrivoltaics Alliance should be to not only double the farmers' income but also ensure the conservation of water and uphold food security without compromise.

"The success of agrivoltaics will depend on the creation of the appropriate institutional mechanisms and business models that create incentives for the farmers to use both water and electricity judiciously," said Mr Bohra. 

(Left - Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary, MNRE) (Right- Deepak Gupta, Director General, NSEFI) (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)
(Left - Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary, MNRE) (Right- Deepak Gupta, Director General, NSEFI) (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)

While addressing the gathering at the India Agrivoltaics Summit, Deepak Gupta, IAS (Retd.), Director General, NSEFI, said, "Solar is India's long-term energy future". He further emphasized that the integration of agrivoltaics with agriculture presents a remarkable opportunity to establish numerous plants across the nation, spanning over 50 thousand villages. This transformative approach has the potential to empower each state and district to become self-sufficient power producers, revolutionizing the energy landscape while bolstering agricultural productivity.

Esteemed guests and dignitaries came together to unveil the official logo of the India Agrivoltaics Alliance during the India Agrivoltaics Summit. This marked a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts towards advancing sustainable agriculture and renewable energy integration in India.

The India Agrivoltaics Summit also witnessed an enriching interaction with farmers who generously shared their invaluable experiences and insights on the successful installation of agrivoltaics systems. This exchange of knowledge not only strengthened the collaborative spirit but also fostered a deeper understanding of the practical implications involved in implementing this transformative technology in the agricultural landscape.

Engaging workshops were conducted, focusing on empowering women, youth, and farmers through the seamless integration of agrivoltaics. Furthermore, the summit dedicated substantial attention to exploring diverse financing options and pioneering business models tailored to the unique landscape of agrivoltaics ventures in India.

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