Karnataka 2024 Budget Allots ₹11.74 Billion for Solar Pumps

The state has also allocated ₹350 million to install EV charging stations


The Karnataka Government will deploy 40,000 off-grid solar pump sets under Component -B of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) at an estimated cost of ₹11.74 billion (~$141.4 million). The announcement was made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during his budget speech today.

The program, initiated to foster self-sufficiency amongst farmers, will see a central government contribution of 30%. The state government will increase its subsidy from 30% to 50%.

As part of Phase I of the agricultural pump set feeder solarization program, measures have been initiated for the decentralized generation of 1,320 MW of energy, benefiting 337,000 farmers. Additionally, Phase II proposes the solarization of 430,000 sets through the implementation of 1,192 MW solar projects.

Renewable energy currently constitutes 63% of the total energy generated in the state.

The Chief Minister also announced a program will be put in place to install solar parks in areas such as backwaters and lands owned by the water resources department through a public-private partnership, following the model of Pavagada solar parks.

Captive or group captive solar parks will be established within various institutions under the urban development department, with the aim of reducing the operational costs incurred by these organizations.

The Karnataka Power Corporation, in collaboration with THDCIL, will implement a floating and ground-mounted solar power program.

Siddaramaiah said a 300 kW capacity self-sustained green hydrogen project will be installed on a pilot basis by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL), utilizing the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s funds at an estimated cost of ₹100 million (~$1.2 million).

In a bid to enhance energy self-sufficiency, microgrid solar units with 500 kW battery storage capacity will be set up in one backward village within the jurisdiction of each electricity supply company. These units, installed by KREDL on a pilot basis, will aim to make these villages self-reliant.

A new green hydrogen policy is also expected to be formulated by the state soon.

To facilitate large-scale renewable energy production and transmission to load centers and green hydrogen hubs, the proposal includes the establishment of ultra-high voltage (UHV) transmission lines of 765 kV by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation (KPTCL).

In a move to enhance the electric vehicle infrastructure, the government has announced plans to establish around 2,500 EV charging stations throughout the state through a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors.

In addition to the EV charging stations, the government will invest ₹350 million (~$4.2 million) to set up 100 EV charging centers in collaboration with power supply companies.

The Gruha Jyothi Guarantee program, effective from July 1, 2023, offering free electricity to domestic consumers up to 200 units, witnessed 16.5 million domestic consumers enrolled, with up to five million domestic consumers benefiting from the provision of free electricity.

For consumers with an average consumption below 48 units, an adjustment has been made to provide an extra ten units of electricity, replacing the previous 10% increment.

The state government will also work to augment the installed capacity of power generation with the goal of elevating the installed capacity from 32,000 MW to 60,000 MW within the next seven years.

The minister also said substations would undergo upgrades through public-private partnership arrangements to meet the increasing energy demands of Bengaluru city and its adjacent areas, prompted by the rise in multi-story constructions.

In October, under an acute power shortage of up to 2,000 MW a day, Karnataka said it was monitoring power demand and availability on an hourly basis and preparing to buy power in the market on the projections of the Karnataka State Load Despatch Center.

Earlier, Mercom reported how the state’s proposed grid support charges pose the threat of discouraging open-access power projects.