FAO Report: Achieving Zero Hunger Requires “Major Overhaul” of Global Food Systems


In discussing each trend, the authors highlight interlinkages with other trends. For example, on agricultural productivity and innovation, the study shows that despite remarkable progress in agricultural technology, the rate of yield increases is declining because of climate change impacts.
The current rate of growth may not be sufficient to meet the demands of a growing world population. Therefore, agricultural research and development must be combined with resource conservation and adaptation practices such as climate-smart agriculture.
Read more.

https://remarkeet.com/blog/blog/2017/02/24/achieving-zero-hunger/

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Solar Powered Rice Farm Irrigation 10X Cheaper than Diesel Pump

Doing away with fuel cost through solar powered irrigation system. No operational cost, almost zero maintenance, 20 years solar panel lifespan, clean, green, and drought free. Over the long run, solar powered irrigation system is 10X cheaper than diesel powered pumps.

Up to 15HP, 98 Mtrs max. well depth, max. 60 Cu.Mtrs max flowrate, 6 inches max. well pipe dia. 
https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/solar-powered-farm-pumps/

We supply, integrate, do turnkey project on solar powered pumping for domestic and agricultural irrigation.

COST AND RELIABILITY COMPARISON BETWEEN SOLAR AND DIESEL POWERED PUMPS 
https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/a-cost-and-reliability-comparison-between%e2%80%a8solar-and-diesel-powered-pumps/

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

gregoriojess@yahoo.com

We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, FMS, HMI, and Control System Integration.

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Solar-powered pump promises to end farmers’ irrigation woes


By PTI | Updated: Mar 11, 2015, 01.51 PM IST

VADODARA: The farmers in the country can do away with their dependence on conventional forms of energy for operating pumps to water their fields as a private company has come up with a solar-energy operated pump, which will also reduce environment pollution. 

ABB India has developed a solar-powered water pump for irrigating crops with rural India facing problems in the supply of electricity and availability of diesel for operating gensets. 

“ABB solar pump drive starts automatically when there is enough sunshine and the motor connected to it begins to run the pump to draw water. 

“At sunset, the drive turns off the motor and the water flow ceases,” Vinod Raina, senior Vice President (Transformers division) at ABB India, told reporters here. 
He said that the built-in maximum power point tracking functionality enables the pump to run at maximum power using the available solar energy. 

He said that switching from use of conventional energy or diesel gensets to solar power can free up as much as 18 per cent of the electricity that can be used for other purposes. 

“As much as 18 per cent of the total electrical energy generated goes into agriculture. There are nine million diesel pump-sets in India. 

“Even if 50 per cent of these are converted to solar powered pumps, it will save 25 billion litres of diesel per year,” Raina said while claiming that the implementation of the solar pump can improve agricultural productivity to at least two crops a year in most parts of the country. 

The unreliable electricity supply in rural areas, the ABB official said, resulted not only in wastage of energy but also of water. 
“Due to the uncertain power supply, pumps are kept switched on waiting for electricity and, often unattended, lead to water being drawn out and wasted,” he said. 

Raina said that with the government having set a target of deploying 1,00,000 solar pumpsets over the next five years, states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat are key adopters followed closely by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. 
He said the company was working on developing an application that will allow farmers to monitor and operate these solar pumps through their mobile phones. 

“This technology is already in use in Rajasthan where the state government is using it in Public Health Engineering department, but we will have to develop our own application for these pumps,” Raina added.

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Solar Powered Rice Farm Irrigation 10X Cheaper than Diesel Pump

Doing away with fuel cost through solar powered irrigation system. No operational cost, almost zero maintenance, 20 years solar panel lifespan, clean, green, and drought free. Over the long run, solar powered irrigation system is 10X cheaper than diesel powered pumps.

Up to 15HP, 98 Mtrs max. well depth, max. 60 Cu.Mtrs max flowrate, 6 inches max. well pipe dia. 

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/solar-powered-farm-pumps/

We supply, integrate, do turnkey project on solar powered pumping for domestic and agricultural irrigation.

COST AND RELIABILITY COMPARISON BETWEEN SOLAR AND DIESEL POWERED PUMPS 

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/a-cost-and-reliability-comparison-between%e2%80%a8solar-and-diesel-powered-pumps/

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

gregoriojess@yahoo.com

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Drone in Agriculture


Paul Turner

CEO & Founder at AgDNA

What’s the one thing stopping drones from taking off in agriculture?

January 19, 2017

Unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones) have received a lot of attention in the precision ag sector recently. AgFunder reported in 2015 a total of $389 million was invested in drones and robotics companies representing 8% of the $4.6B total investment in AgTech that year. Despite the attention drones have received from investors and the media, it seems some of the shine has begun to wear off.

From discussions with growers and precision farming dealers across the US, it appears drones have flown into the trough of disillusionment. A lot of the folks I’ve talked to say their drones are being shelved for now.

So what is the headwind preventing take-off for drones?

In one word…

FRICTION

Despite drone technology advancing rapidly and commercial hardware becoming more affordable, there still remain significant obstacles to overcome. Obstacles such as poor operational efficiency, limitations in software processing and complexity in turning raw data into real-world decision support outcomes for growers. The commercial payback is yet to be realised for mainstream drone operation.

Don’t get me wrong, there are early adopter growers and business operators that are making a go of it. But there are still a lot of steps required to make it work.

High friction workflows do not scale for the masses.

Nevertheless, I think there is a bright future for drones in agriculture once these issues are addressed and a suitable level of autonomous deployment and data automation is achieved.

Obstacle #1 — Friction of hardware deployment

Currently there is considerable time (and therefore cost) required to map a field. The time required to drive to the field, establish a flight plan, deploy the drone, monitor its performance and download the imagery.

Today a commercial drone has a flight time of around 40 minutes which equates to approximately 100–200 acres depending on a number of factors including:

image resolution

image overlap required

wind speed

platform configuration ie quad copter versus fixed wing

Configuration of drone platform will also determine how you might use the drone due to vertical take off and better manoeuvrability of quad copters. However, it’s difficult for drones at any level to compete with the coverage efficiency of aerial and satellite systems.

Solution #1 — Autonomous operation
Once drones are able to take off autonomously, scan a field, upload data, recharge and continue operation without human intervention — this will be a game changer. Continuous automated image capture eliminates friction from the raw data acquisition. It’s like having your own private satellite system orbiting your farm. Every day!

Images from across the farm would be streamed over Wi-Fi to the farm PC and then uploaded to the cloud for processing and analysis. Integrated weather data would enable the drone to know when to return to base or prevent take-off during poor weather conditions. Areas of interest would receive extra attention by increasing frequency of coverage and flying at lower altitude to increase image resolution during critical growing periods.

Boom! Frictionless and continuous image capture. The same as what is already occurring with agronomic data automatically streaming from ground based tractors, sprayers and harvesters.

Note — There are also other barriers to overcome to achieve this level of autonomous operation such as changes in legislation to allow beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operation. But that’s a whole other debate.

Obstacle #2 — Friction of software processing
With the autonomous take off, landing, battery recharging and image streaming to the cloud then the foundation is laid for automated data processing. Raw images automatically uploaded to the cloud by the drone can then be stitched together, analysed and interpreted for enhanced decision-making.

Consider the friction that was removed from personal photography during the transition from film to digital processing. In the “old days” you took a photo on your polaroid camera, waited until the film was full and dropped it off to get processed at the lab. Days (or weeks) later the photos were ready to collect. Occasionally excitement turned to disappointment only to see your favourite happy snaps were out of focus or your finger was over the lens!

These high friction issues are now a thing of the past with the introduction of digital photography. The real-time feedback (point, shoot, view) and zero cost of production means that you continue to take photos until you’re are happy with the result.

Autonomous drones must follow a similar path.

Solution #2 — Automated Image Processing
Drones manufacturers and software providers must remove the friction of “sending images to the lab”. With autonomous hardware that’s able to take-off, record and upload images in real time — processing of those same images must also be intelligent and automated. Wireless delivery and integration of the processed results into farm management software platforms is also critical to maximising drone value. Companies such as AgDNA are already performing similar automated data processing and analytics with vast amounts of agronomic data from ground based vehicles.

Recapture of images might also occur if some are of poor quality or if there is a region of interest that requires further investigation. The drone would automatically return to a particular hot spot and fly at a lower altitude to take higher resolution images for disease or pest identification. The grower or agronomist would then be advised as issues are identified without even stepping foot in the field.

Other Considerations
Decision Support
As with all tools if you’re unable to use the information to make a decision for a particular outcome then the value of the tool is questionable. This has been the case with drones for some time and is the reason why they have entered the trough of disillusionment. However, once a level of autonomous operation outlined above is achieved the outlook for drones will improve significantly.
Ultimately drones will be continuously monitoring the field without the need for humans – all at very low operating costs. Measuring plant stand count after seeding, identifying drainage issues after heavy rainfall, checking for pests and diseases, measuring biomass and forecasting potential yield can all be automated using drones.

All of this valuable information can then be used at the point of highest impact during the season when decisions and action can be taken.

Regulations
The drone industry has been in a holding pattern for sometime. Waiting for FAA regulations to be outlined. Commercial operation of drones is now legal however there are still restrictions such visual line of sight (VLOS) operation that prevent automatic deployment of drones. It’s hoped that regulations will continue to evolve (eg BVLOS operation) and extract the real value drones can deliver for agriculture.

Innovation
Once the legal pathway is clear the rest is an engineering problem-solving exercise. It’s fair to say that the technology required to automatically fly, capture and process imagery is already available. Now it just requires an innovative AgTech company to connect the dots and make it possible.

Once the FRICTION is removed then drones will come out of the trough of disillusionment and enter the slope of enlightenment.

Conclusion
Drones are destined to deliver on their promise that so many growers and precision farming experts are seeking.
Let’s hope the technology and required legislation arrives soon so growers can begin unlocking the real potential economic value they offer.

Written by
Paul Turner

CEO & Founder at AgDNA

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🕶AD Rider

InSpecIT Inc.

Integration Specialist for Instrumentation Technology

We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, FMS, HMI, and Control System Integration.

SCADA and all related system integration, one that really work for end users, must have only the best combination of skills and materials for the job.

We do premium pricing for our job. Each project done proved to be the lowest cost in the long run. The product of our commitment to do the ordinary extraordinarily.

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/over-and-above-scada-bms-fdas-hmi/

We also offer solutions on the following:

Biogas Power Plant, W2E, MSW Landfill Alternative Solutions, BioMethane from organic waste to replace depleting LNG supply.

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/reliable-partner-for-biogas-business/

Solar Pumping for Irrigation Water, Aquaculture, Island Domestic Water Need.

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/solar-powered-irrigation-for-rice-paddies/

Financed LED Lights Retrofitting for Malls, High Rise Building, and Industrial Estates.

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/have-led-will-pay/

Steam Generation, Distribution, Thermal Energy Recovery Design/Survey/Engineering

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/the-basics-of-steam-heating/

Waterways Remediation, Fish Kill, Oil Spill, and Bio Organic Oxygen-in-Water Enhancement, Rivers/Lakes/Sea BioSystem Recovery.

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/fish-kill-oil-spill-waste-water-remediation-restoration/

Sun Powered Large Scale Airconditioning Cold Storage, Heating, and Steam Generation. 

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/sun-powered-large-scale-heating-and-cooling/

The 4th Industrial Revolution fuels our business. 

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/we-are-growing-fast-we-need-more-people-who-can-be-with-us/

Get in touch!

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

gregoriojess@yahoo.com

Solar Pumping Irrigation Water for Record Breaking Hottest Years Ahead



We just broke the record for hottest year, nine straight times

Earth’s record hottest 12 consecutive months were set in each month ending in September 2015 through May 2016

Dana Nuccitelli

Monday 11 July 2016 11.00 BST Last modified on Friday 10 February 2017 11.12 GMT
2014 and 2015 each set the record for hottest calendar year since we began measuring surface temperatures over 150 years ago, and 2016 is almost certain to break the record once again. It will be without precedent: the first time that we’ve seen three consecutive record-breaking hot years.

But it’s just happenstance that the calendar year begins in January, and so it’s also informative to compare all yearlong periods. In doing so, it becomes clear that we’re living in astonishingly hot times.

June 2015 through May 2016 was the hottest 12-month period on record. That was also true of May 2015 through April 2016, and the 12 months ending in March 2016. In fact, it’s true for every 12 months going all the way back to the period ending in September 2015, according to global surface temperature data compiled by Kevin Cowtan and Robert Way. We just set the record for hottest year in each of the past 9 months.

Read more about it…

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/jul/11/we-just-broke-the-record-for-hottest-year-9-straight-times#img-2

Ad Rider 🕶

Solar Powered Rice Farm Irrigation 10X Cheaper than Diesel Pump

Doing away with fuel cost through solar powered irrigation system. No operational cost, almost zero maintenance, 20 years solar panel lifespan, clean, green, and drought free. Over the long run, solar powered irrigation system is 10X cheaper than diesel powered pumps.

Up to 15HP, 98 Mtrs max. well depth, max. 60 Cu.Mtrs max flowrate, 6 inches max. well pipe dia. https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/solar-powered-farm-pumps/

We supply, integrate, do turnkey project on solar powered pumping for domestic and agricultural irrigation.

COST AND RELIABILITY COMPARISON BETWEEN SOLAR AND DIESEL POWERED PUMPS 
https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/a-cost-and-reliability-comparison-between%e2%80%a8solar-and-diesel-powered-pumps/

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

gregoriojess@yahoo.com

    

Solar Powered Rice Farm Irrigation 10X Cheaper than Diesel Pump


Solar Powered Rice Farm Irrigation 10X Cheaper than Diesel Pump#BuySolarPump #InSpecIT #JcGregSolutions

Doing away with fuel cost through solar powered irrigation system. No operational cost, almost zero maintenance, 20 years solar panel lifespan, clean, green, and drought free. 
Over the long run, solar powered irrigation system is 10X cheaper than diesel powered pumps.
https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/solar-powered-farm-pumps/
We supply, integrate, do turnkey project on solar powered pumping for domestic and agricultural irrigation.
Up to 15HP, 98 Mtrs max. well depth, max. 60 Cu.Mtrs max flowrate, 6 inches max. well pipe dia. 

COST AND RELIABILITY COMPARISON BETWEEN SOLAR AND DIESEL POWERED PUMPS https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/a-cost-and-reliability-comparison-between%e2%80%a8solar-and-diesel-powered-pumps/

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

Mobile +63916 769 9056, +63949 707 2424, +63918 965 2721

Email: gregoriojess@yahoo.com

Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative: Consumer Driven Technologies


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We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, FMS, HMI, Process, and Automation System Integration. W2E Power Plant, Solar Powered Pumping and Building LED Lights Retroffitting. We are open to mutually beneficial opportunities for referred and jointly closed projects.

Jess C.Gregorio
InSpecITInc.
Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.
ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center
San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605
+63916 769 9056, +63949 707 2424, +63918 965 2721
We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, HMI, and Automation System Integration. We can help.
Got cool ideas to make things better. Subcribe to our mailing list for updates.

Waste to Energy. What is holding you back?


bottomline-is-your-profit

We like to offer a solution on converting organic waste into fuel resource. It can be a viable solution to unburden landfills and at the same time empower communities.
 
Besides constructing biogas power plants direct for end users, we also have channels to provide project financing for big projects.  We have a local investor partner who can provide outright financing.  The only condition sought is doing a Joint Venture with them and for then to be a major shareholder on the power company to be put up.
  
Basic question at the beginning would be the same as with international projects done before. We need tonvalidate real and potential project before PlanET fly to a certain country to discuss the cooperation on installing a biopower power plant. They wanted to see numbers and best case scenarios on fixed substrate contracts.  As a pre-requisite they need a questionnaire, completely filled up, and submitted for their evaluation and assessment.
 
Wonder if you…
– have an agricultural or livestock farm with residual or manure disposal problem, 
– have a locality (municipality/city/province) in your care that can benefit on having an MSW W2E processing plant, 
– are a private institution or a government agency project manager (environment/power/development/local governance) looking for an able and expert service provider with project track record worldwide, 
– or simply just a land owner who can be form a Business Joint Venture of a biogas power plant by making his/her agricultural land property a giant napier grass farm to fuel up a power plant- also to be constructed within the farm area.

We can help you put up your desired world class German standard biogas complex.

biogas-yields-of-different-waste
Our job is to open the Philippines for their technology and assistance.  It may or may not be a financed project for anyone who would be interested but the technology alone would be good enough to be considered and perhaps adopted to solve our landfill and waste management problems- generate power doing it.

I have attached some information for your reference.

 

Attachments:

planet-company-profile

planet-international-project-track-record

authorized-agent-assignment

msw-w2e-project-questionnaire

type-of-w2e-feedstock

We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, FMS, HMI, Process, and Automation System Integration. W2E Power Plant, Solar Powered Pumping and Building LED Lights Retroffitting. We are open to mutually beneficial opportunities for referred and jointly closed projects.
https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/over-and-above-scada-bms-fdas-hmi/

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecITInc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

+63916 769 9056, +63949 707 2424, +63918 965 2721

gregoriojess@yahoo.com

A Short History of Anaerobic Digestion


untitled

The use of the AD process for treating industrial wastewaters has grown tremendously during the past decade. Worldwide, more than 1,000 vendor-supplied systems now operate or are under construction. It is estimated that European plants comprise 44% of the installed base. Only 14% of the systems are located in North America. A considerable number of the systems are located in South America, primarily Brazil, where they are used to treat the vinasse coproduct from sugar cane-based ethanol production.5

Processes such as AD and composting offer the only biological route for recycling matter and nutrients from the organic fraction of MSW. Composting is an energy-consuming process, requiring 50-75 kWh of electricity per ton of MSW input. Composting technology for MSW is commercially available and in use, but its further application is limited mainly by environmental aspects and process economics. AD is a net energy-producing process, with around 75-150 kWh of electricity created per ton of MSW input. MSW digestion technology is now being demonstrated and fully commercialized.

Read more.

http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/energy/waste-to-energy/resources/biogas/links/history-of-anaerobic-digestion/a-short-history-of-anaerobic-digestion

 
I have attached some information for your reference.
 

Attachment:

planet-company-profile

planet-international-project-track-record

authorized-agent-assignment

msw-w2e-project-questionnaire

type-of-w2e-feedstock

 

 

Looking forward to hear from you.
 

Jess C.Gregorio

InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

Mobile +63916 769 9056, +63949 707 2424, +63918 965 2721

Email: gregoriojess@yahoo.com

 
Ad Rider 🕶
We do SCADA, BMS, FDAS, FMS, HMI, and Control System Integration.

#BuySCADA #InSpecIT #JcGregSolutions

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/over-and-above-scada-bms-fdas-hmi/

 
 

 

Solar Powered Irrigation for Rice Paddies


untitled

How Solar Can Save India’s Farmers

Water pumps powered by the sun could solve a host of problems for rural farmers and the nation’s power grid

SMITHSONIAN.COM
JUNE 25, 2013

Ravi Kant, a rice and wheat farmer in his 30s, lives in Bihar, just south of Nepal and one of the poorest states in India. Kant used to perform an intricate ritual when rains alone couldn’t provide enough water for his crops: He would rent a diesel pump from town, shoulder it on a bamboo sling and carry it to a corner of his property where he could drench one of his flat fields with water from an underground aquifer. Then he would move it to another quadrant, and another. “The discharge [of water] from the diesel pump was never strong,” Kant recalled. “Add to that the time and hassle to rent a van, go to the town and buy diesel.”

But life recently became much easier for Kant: His fertile acreage near the banks of the iconic river now has its own 7.5-horsepower water pump powered by six six-foot-square solar panels. Watering his fields is as simple as walking a plastic hose past the huts where the women dry cow patties for stove fuel. When the sun shines, the farmer can summon water from the ground whenever he wants, and even on cloudy winter days he can irrigate for at least two hours.

A consensus is building that India needs millions more farmers who, like Kant, run their irrigation on sunshine. The country is home to 25 million agricultural water pumps, more than anywhere on earth. Whether they draw their power from the country’s rickety power grid or from diesel-fueled generators, the pumps cause a host of problems. They are sucking aquifers dry, draining the government treasury and farmer’s pockets, and adding to the country’s burgeoning carbon emissions levels.

A growing number of government officials, aid workers and entrepreneurs believe that if any sector is ripe for solar power in India, it is the legions of agricultural irrigation pumps, because the benefits could add up so quickly.

“In my view, India should stop doing all other solar and just focus on giving farmers a solution for their needs,” said Pashupathy Gopalan, a managing director of SunEdison, an American firm that is one of India’s largest developers of big solar farms and rooftop solar panels. “The farmers will be happy, and once the farmers are happy, the politicians will be happy because the farmer tells his family how to vote.”

To know how a solar pumpset, as it’s called, can make such a difference, it’s worth taking a moment to understand the strange burden that watering crops places on the Indian economy. About 18 million of the country’s 25 million pumpsets are tied to the national electric grid. India’s planning commission estimates that farming accounts for about 15 percent of gross domestic product but the sector consumes some 25 percent of the nation’s electricity, mostly from powering irrigation pumps. Utilities provide this power at a huge loss; electricity for farmers is usually free, or nearly so, costing only a couple of pennies per kilowatt.

It’s been this way for decades, the legacy of a country that is quickly urbanizing but whose self-image — and nearly 70 percent of its population — is still rooted in the countryside. The policy comes at a high cost, both in energy and money. The power lines experience transmission losses of 30 to 40 percent on their long route to customers who pay almost nothing. “Every watt sold to a rural customer is a loss to the bottom line,” explained Srinivasan Padmanaban, a senior energy advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in New Delhi.

This burden is taking its toll on the rest of India. Most state electricity boards, the rough equivalent of U.S. utilities, are operating in the red, and the nation’s power system frequently falters under the demand pressures of the fast-growing country. In July 2012, more than half of India’s population, 670 million people, experienced the world’s largest blackout ever. Smaller, rolling blackouts are common, even in some of India’s largest cities, spurred on by an outdated power grid, electricity theft, chronic shortages of fuel and the rising cost of imported coal and petroleum. Easing energy demand is a top priority.

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And if the flickering power grid is a headache for utility officers and city dwellers, it is an obstacle of another kind for the farmer, sometimes a deadly one. Farmers get electricity, but often for only a few hours a day—or, rather, the night, when no other customers need it. This means that many farmers stumble out of bed and irrigate their fields in the dark. India is home to many venomous snakes like cobras and vipers, and it is fairly common, Gopalan said, for a farmer to meet his end with a snakebite.

These exhausted farmers who depend on short bursts of free electricity are not the best stewards of the nation’s diminishing supply of groundwater. The system incentivizes the farmer to use as much water as he can when he can get it. Thus, many farmers gravitate toward crops that require flooding, like rice and wheat. But these commodities offer farmers the lowest of profit margins. Global consulting firm KPMG estimates that solar pumps, which give a farmer the leisure to pump water only when he needs it—and can see it—could increase agricultural income by 10 to 15 percent by letting farmers switch to more profitable crops such as tomatoes and potatoes.

Converting all of India’s electric water pumps to solar would appear to make imminent sense, but the economic argument for solar is even more compelling for diesel-powered pumps. Solar-powered water pumps, which include a power source and expensive electronics, currently cost upwards of $6,000, whereas a pump that runs on electricity or diesel can be had for as little as $500. That’s an enormous difference in a country with a per capita yearly income of only $1,200. Farmers who get their electricity for free would probably rather save their money and risk the cobras. But for the 7 million diesel-using farmers like Kant, most of whom have no electrical connection and have had no choice but diesel pumps, they can spend up to 35 or 40 percent of their income on diesel. And that amount is rising because the country is phasing out its subsidy on the fuel.

“The costs of running a diesel pump are very high,” said a grizzled neighbor of Kant’s, who went by the sole name of Ayodhya. As we watched water tumble onto his field from his solar-powered pumpset, Ayodhya explained, “for a farmer who owns one bigha of land [about 70 percent of an acre], the diesel pump has to be run four hours a day. The pump consumes two liters of diesel an hour. That is 320 rupees [U.S. $5.55] per hour.”

Energy subsidies, however, aren’t necessarily going away — they’re instead moving toward solar. “We see a huge market for solar pumps in India,” said G. Prasad, head of off-grid solar projects for the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which is offering to pick up 30 percent of the cost of solar pumpsets. Ten states have also added their own subsidies. Rural energy independence appeals to local politicians who can steer money to their constituents, as well as ministerial bean counters who see a potential for savings. KPMG estimates that if the government purchased 100,000 solar pumps, India could save $53 million a year in diesel imports.

The prospect of government largesse, combined with millions of potential customers, has global solar and pump manufacturers, from SunEdison to Germany’s Lorentz to Denmark’s Grundfos, running toward the Indian market. Kant’s pump was installed by Claro Energy, an Indian startup that is competing with the big multinationals. “It’s a tremendous opportunity because of the sheer size of the country, the sheer size of the population,” said Melanie Natarajan, head of Asia-Pacific water operations for Franklin Electric, an American pump maker.

Ravi Kant couldn’t be happier with his solar-powered pump — and not just because subsidies have driven his power costs down to zero. Instead of wrestling with a diesel-powered pump in front of his cows, he adjusts the panels a few times a day to point them toward the sun, and every few days washes the dust off. “We can grow a third crop because of the solar pumps. We grow either dal or maize. Our annual income is up by about 20,000 rupees [U.S. $347] per year,” he said.

Solar panels have been known to work for two decades and more. If they do, the blue-tinted solar panels will empower another generation – Kant’s children — to water their own crops with sunshine.

Sanjoy Sanyal contributed to the reporting of this story.

Disclaimer: Pashupathy Gopalanis a distant cousin by marriage of the writer.


 

We supply, integrate, do turnkey project on solar powered pumping for domestic and agricultural irrigation.

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COST AND RELIABILITY COMPARISON BETWEEN SOLAR AND DIESEL POWERED PUMPS 

https://jcgregsolutions.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/a-cost-and-reliability-comparison-between%e2%80%a8solar-and-diesel-powered-pumps/

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InSpecIT Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

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Solar Pump. Water Despite Drought and Power Failure


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Jess C. Gregorio

InSpecIT  Inc.

Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

Tel. +632 661 9058

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Mobile +63916 769 9056, +63949 707 2424, +63918 965 2721

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