Solar Pumping for Irrigation: Improving livelihoods and sustainability


June 2016
ISBN : 978-92-95111-94-3

Irrigation improves yields, reduces vulnerability to changing rainfall patterns, and enables multiple cropping practices. This can stimulate socio-economic development in the agriculture sector helping the fight against poverty. Solar-based solutions can provide reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable energy for decentralised irrigation services in a growing number of situations. The benefits include improved livelihoods, increased social welfare, and reduced spending on fossil fuel subsidies and centralised infrastructure.

The decision-making on “energy options for irrigation” lies at the heart of the water, energy and food nexus. This policy brief analyses the key drivers behind the adoption of solar pumping technology, socio-economic benefits on offer and brings to the forefront the cross-sector aspects that should be considered in programme design and implementation to sustainably scale-up deployment.

This policy brief is part of a broader work stream in IRENA focusing on renewable energy opportunities in the agriculture and water sector, including:

Renewable energy in the water, energy and food nexus (2015)

Water Use in China’s Power Sector: Impact of Renewables and Cooling Technologies to 2030

Renewable Energy Market Analysis: The GCC Region (2016)