Scaling Solar Application for Agricultural Use

Scaling Solar Application for Agricultural Use:


ISA’s first programme, Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use (SSAAU), was launched in New York, USA on 22nd April 2016. The SSAAU Programme mainly focusses on decentralized solar applications in rural settings. The key technologies covered under this programme include Solar Powered Irrigation Systems, Solar Drying, Solar Home/ Street Lighting Systems, Solar Chilling and other off-grid applications.

Key Developments:

ISA conducted Mission Visits to 10 Member Countries (DR Congo, Benin, Uganda, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Malawi, Guinea, Ghana) to conduct extensive stakeholder consultations

  • Aggregated demand of 2,72,579 number of solar water pumping systems (SWPS) from 22 ISA member countries.
  • The ISA Secretariat undertook a global tendering process, through M/S Energy Efficiency Services limited (EESL), for conducting an International Competitive Bid (ICB) for Price Discovery and for Project Management Consultancy (PMC) for Solar Water Pumping Systems (SWPS). The ICB was floated on 16th May 2019 by EESL and discovered about 47 percent lesser prices compared to the prevailing prices in Africa.
  • Preparation of Pre-Feasibility Reports (PFRs) for ISA member countries. So far, 25 PFRs have been prepared and shared with Member Countries
  • India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Facility of the UN South South Cooperation Office sanctioned the USD 2 million fund to support the solar pumping pilot programme in 10 ISA Member Countries in alliance with UNDP as implementation partner. The project aims to test new and innovative deployment models, that can be scaled both within the country and in the region.
  • Joint venture of ISA-GGGI for facilitating implementation of 1 million SWPS in 13 Africa, Asia and Asia Pacific Countries by creation of trust fund. GGGI and ISA have signed an MOU for developing the trust fund and deployment of 1 million solar pumps in common member and operation countries
  • MoU has been executed with International Water Management, Sri Lanka for jointly working in the field of Solar Irrigation.
  • Developed first version of the E-Handbook on Solar Water Pumping Systems
  • Developed first version of the E-Handbook on Solar Home Systems

E-Handbooks of SHS

Complete Report on ICB/SWPS

ISA Country Missions

The ISA secretariat, supported by KMPG-a global advisory firm, recently concluded country missions to four countries of Mali, Togo, Niger, Benin and Uganda (with a cumulative demand of 1 lakhs solar water pumping systems) to get a ‘buy-in’ for ISA’s Programmes and to understand the ground level challenges and issues. The mission visits provided critical insights to ISA on various aspects and factors critical to the success of solar water pumping Programme. During ISA’s country missions, extensive stakeholder consultations were held with nodal agencies, line ministries, research organization, international development organizations and funding agencies. The meetings were also attended by the respective cabinet ministers of energy departments along with representatives from the Embassies. The solar water pumping Programme of ISA received an enthusiastic response from all stakeholders and the line ministries showed their keen interest in collaborating with ISA

While there was a general consensus on the utility of solar water pumping system in enabling better energy access, reliable irrigation, and increased crop productivity, the lack of affordable financing emerged as a major challenge to the adoption and deployment of technology on ground:

  • Limited/ No funds available with governments due to high fiscal deficits and excessive debt
  • Absence of a dedicated programme by multi-lateral and bi-lateral institutions for funding of solar water pumping projects
  • Limited line of credit from other countries such as India:
  • Limited buying capacity of end-users due to low agriculture income:
Expert Team Mission