Low-Cost Pay-Per-Use Irrigation Using Solar Trolley Systems

Innovator (Country of Incorporation): 
India
Location Applied: 
Innovation Stage: 
Clean Energy Source: 
Agricultural Focus: 
Product Segment: 
Year of Award: 
Financing Status: 
Organization: 

Claro Energy provides off-grid solar power pumping solutions to power-deficient regions in India. The company was established in 2011, with the objective of harnessing solar power to pump ground water. Claro’s solar water pump solutions can have broad application across irrigation, agriculture, drinking water, and urban settings.

Problem/Opportunity: 

In India, the availability of irrigation water is dependent on monsoon patterns or the availability of power to operate ground water pumps. Many villages lack access to electricity. Given this lack of electricity, diesel pumps are often the most reliable means to pump the water that is used for irrigation. The use of diesel fuel has many drawbacks, including environmental pollution, as well as ever-increasing costs which have a negative impact on farmers’ economic prosperity.

Clean Energy Solution: 

Claro Energy intends to offer a pay-per-use irrigation service that uses a portable solar pump. The portable design will provide affordable, convenient, and on-demand irrigation. The service will meet the needs of a wide range of farmers who do not own pumps, with no upfront capital costs incurred. The farmer will call a toll-free line, pre-pay, and schedule irrigation service at his field.

Impact: 

The project will enable farmers to irrigate larger amounts of farmland, increase production during the summer season, and invest funds saved on the purchase of diesel in more efficient technologies. All of these results will increase farmers’ productivity and income, while decreasing GHG emissions. The proposed project will create employment in rural, agricultural communities, as villagers have the opportunity to become local irrigation service providers.

Progress Update: 

Claro Energy is finalizing the engineering and design of its prototype and developing the associated technologies for remote monitoring and pay-per-use.

Project News: 
May 22-23, 2017

Claro Energy's Kartik Wahi will offer an electricity access expert’s perspective, and provide lessons from the ground in India by speaking on a panel titled "Project Implementation: What is the reality on the ground? Gap between assumptions and reality" at the LVDC Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

May. 4, 2017

Claro Energy has either deployed or is managing about 6,500 solar pumping systems in 15 Indian states, and expects to increase that to as many as 15,000 by March 2018. "Everyone is realizing that solar pumps make sense for both the end-user as well as state governments."