DEMAND FOR AGRICULTURE
Energy Demand for Mechanization
The number of tractors in the country was about 5.3 million in 2011 and has been growing at 6 percent annually. This trend is expected to continue as only 19 percent of the potential market has been exploited. Total annual demand for diesel from tractors is estimated to be about 6 million tonnes (MT) in 2011.
There is no improvement in fuel efficiency of tractors, and demand side incentives to improve efficiency are absent. Tractors continue to use 4.5 litres per hour. The demand for diesel reaches saturation at 32 Million tonnes (385 TWh) by 2031.
Fuel efficiency improves, reducing fuel requirement for an hour of operation to 89 percent of the present value. The improvement in specific fuel consumption (SFCs) is autonomous and by 2031, tractors use 4 litres per hour of diesel. The demand for diesel reaches saturation at 28 Mt (342 TWh).
In Level 3, fuel efficiency further improves, with only 3.5 litres needed to run for an hour, a 22 percent improvement from Level 1. The ceiling for maximum SFCs is tightened by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The demand for diesel grows to 25 MT (300 TWh) by 2031 and stabilizes thereafter.
Level 4 assumes that fuel efficiency of tractors improves significantly, resulting in fuel savings of 33 percent. BIS restricts the penetration inefficient tractors with fuel consumption above specified SFC orms. Deregulation of diesel prices for agriculture sector also pushes up the sale of fuel efficient tractors. Demand for diesel in this level reaches saturation at 21 MT (257 TWh).
ENERGY DEMAND FOR IRRIGATION
The service demand for irrigation from pumping is based on several factors including the growth of the sector, cropping patterns, other irrigation facilities, and water management practices. These influence the ownership of pump-sets and the average hours of operation of a pump-set. Efficiency of pumpsets in turn determines the energy requirement to meet this service demand. This, along with the demand from mechanization constitutes the overall demand from the agriculture sector. These energy demand scenarios along with the choices for fuel mix for irrigation will determine the aggregate energy demand for irrigation.
This is a pessimistic picture for the sector whereby electrical pumping efficiency improves by merely 7 percent as pump replacements don’t pick due to lack of support mechanisms, while diesel pumps don’t improve at all. At the same time, higher Hydro Prokav pumps are employed for greater hours in response to depleting water table, exacerbating the problem. Micro irrigation and advanced water management practices are still employed at less than 5 percent of their potential (Rajput & Patel, 2012). All this coupled with increase in gross cropped area (GCA) to meet the requirements of growing population results in demand growing by 7.25 percent till 2022, reducing to around 2 percent till 2047. Aggregate demand so obtained is 877 TWh in 2047.
In Level 2, electrical pumping input improves by 18 percent and diesel pumping by 8 percent, yielding an average improvement of 17 percent. Agricultural Demand Side Management (Ag-DSM), and various complementary watershed development programmes meet with limited success and micro-irrigation facilities are expanded, yielding an overall reduction of 27 percent from level 1 in 2047. Energy demand grows by 7 percent till 2022, and growth rate declines to 1.5 percent by 2042 and stabilise thereafter, yielding an aggregate demand of 723 TWh in 2047.
Further improvement of 29 percent in pumping input requirement results from aggressive replacement of old pumps, slow increase in agricultural tariffs and improvement in reliability of power supply. Micro-irrigation is extensively used to 50 percent of its potential. At the same time, complementary schemes of inter-basin transfers reduce pumping needs and hours of use. All these result in a reduction of 45 percent from level 1 in 2047. Energy demand grows by 6.5 percent till 2022, and the growth rate declines to 1 percent by 2042, yielding an aggregate demand of 626 TWh in 2047.
Level 4 envisages modern practices such as mulching and vertical farming to optimise on water-use in response to scarcity of water resources. Government fast-tracks support to rain-fed areas, and increase in pumping demand from these areas slows down. Electrical pumping takes place at optimum loads, reducing losses and resulting in best efficiencies. Electricity supply is augmented and monitored for consistency. Diesel pumps achieve optimum efficiencies too, and weighted improvement in pumping input is 38 percent. As a result, energy demand grows by 6 percent till 2022, and growth rate falls to 0.75 percent in the 2040s. Overall demand reduces to 549 TWh.
CHOICE OF FUEL FOR IRRIGATION
Pumping is primarily done through electricity. The number of electrified pump-sets has increased to over 16 million in 2009 from 12 million in 1999. The average efficiency of pump-sets remains low at 30-35 percent and offers significant scope for savings. Electricity consumption in the sector grew at a CAGR of about 7 percent between 2006 and 2012, from 90 Terawatt Hour (TWh) to 136 TWh. Diesel pump-sets are estimated to meet about 19 percent of the total pumping energy demand in 2009 and 17 percent of the total energy demand in 2011.
In Level A, diesel is used to satisfy about 20% of the total irrigation demand due to unreliability of electricity supply and deceleration in the growth of pump-sets energised from the grid. Solar pumping remains too expensive to be used.
85% of the demand is met through electricity and diesel use is restricted to 10% of the total pumping requirement, owing to de-regulation of diesel prices and reduced diesel subsidy to agriculture sector. Solar penetration reaches 5% as subsidies are channelled towards solar pumping, particularly in regions with rich solar insolation.
Diesel and electrical shares further reduce by 5 percentage points form level B, and solar is benefitted through largescale pilot projects, retrofitting and partial removal of fuel subsidies to agriculture sector.
Diesel is no longer a preferred fuel source due to unfavourable life-cycle economics in level D. 75% of demand is met through electricity and 25% through solar, owing to rapid decline in solar PV module costs and complete removal of electricity subsidies.