Comments sought on BIS standards for solar pumping systems

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While a committee is working on formulation of standards for solar pumping systems, MNRE has invited suggestions of all the stakeholders of the solar pumping sector on specifications of solar PV water pumping systems for centrifugal pumps as well as positive displacement pumps, in addition to testing procedure guidelines.

The Indian market for solar water pumps is set to expand significantly through aggressive government policy and schemes such as the Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthaan Maha Abhiyan (KUSUM).

In fact, India could surpass its 100 GW target of installed solar PV capacity by deploying solar-powered water pumps. According to a report, co-authored by Greenpeace India, the IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program and Germi, the government’s plans to swap all water pumps for irrigation to solar water pumps, as laid out in the KUSUM scheme, would add another 150 GW of solar capacity to the country.

“India has already shown its potential for global leadership in the solar water pumping sector through strong government push and support. However, the country needs to indirectly support companies to boost and foster local innovations. We need start-up supporting policies, rather than consumer level subsidies, as the demand for solar water pumps has already been created and the only need is to provide consumers with innovative solutions. Better financing mechanisms and business models are required to ensure sustainable affordability options for the users,” said Viraj Gada, GOGLA’s India regional representative and spokesperson for The India Distributed Energy Forum and Expo (IDEF), in an exclusive interview with pv magazine recently.

To cater to the fast expanding solar pumps market, sustainable development thinktank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) signed an agreement with the Maxop Research and Testing Institute earlier this month to establish laboratories to test solar water pumping systems and other solar products in compliance with BIS regulations and international standards.

The TERI-Maxop test lab will cater to the growing needs of Indian and international solar pump users—including manufacturers, integrators, suppliers and other user organizations—to meet quality and reliability requirements. It will be capable of indoor and outdoor testing.