Efficient Generation and Grid-Evacuation from Distributed, Farmer-Owned PV Panels

One of India’s flagship decarbonization programs seeks to shift millions of grid-connected irrigation pumps to run on farmer-owned photovoltaic (PV) panels, while also allowing sales of unused energy to the grid. The program has a large potential to mitigate emissions while providing assured income for farmers facing increased climate risk. For the program to be cost-effective, farmers should succeed in generating sufficient solar power, and efficiently allocate it between pumping water and sales to the grid. Administrative data from a pilot covering 4,000 farmers shows very high variation in performance across farmers, suggesting there is a large potential for improvement.

Researchers will pilot low-cost informational interventions designed to help farmers improve the generation and allocation of solar power, and thus revenue, including information on PV maintenance (e.g. cleaning and removing shading), financial calculations, real-time own and peers’ performance data, and irrigation practices that reduce power requirements.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2022
  • Ram Fishman
  • Aditi Mukherjee
  • Pilot project