DCR Waiver for Solar Cells, Subsidy Under KUSUM to Continue: MNRE

The ministry reiterated that there is no change in CFA under the program

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued two clarifications on the guidelines for implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program for feeder-level solarization (FLS).

In the first clarification, the ministry confirmed that the waiver of the domestic content requirement (DCR) for solar cells used for FLS under Component C of the PM-KUSUM program will stay in place until March 31, 2024. FLS plays a pivotal role in the program, which aims to solarize 1.5 million grid-connected agriculture pumps by March 31, 2026.

India’s solar cell and module imports rose 55.1% year-on-year in the second quarter of last year after the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers mandate was suspended, allowing developers to procure solar components from international markets until March 2024.

In the second clarification, MNRE reiterated that the central financial assistance (CFA) of ₹10.5 million (~$126,400) per MW for “general” states and ₹17.5 million (~$210,700) per MW for the Northeast Region, hilly states, and islands, will stay in place until a further announcement.

The ministry asked the state implementing agencies to expedite the implementation of the program and report their progress.

Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy R.K. Singh told Parliament that the PM-KUSUM program had benefited over 200,000 farmers as of February 28, 2023.

A solar capacity of 89.45 MW was installed under Component A of the program, which helps farmers set up small solar power projects of capacity between 500 kW and 2 MW. Approximately 209,000 pumps were reported as installed or solarized under Component B (solar-powered agricultural pumps) and Component C (grid-connected agricultural pumps).

The total installed solar capacity under the program stood at 1.14 GW, with Rajasthan having the highest number of beneficiaries at 57,692 enrolled in the program.

Other states with a significant number of beneficiaries included Maharashtra with 47,978, Haryana with 44,325, and Punjab with 12,459.

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