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  • The benefits and risks of solar-powered irrigation - a global overview
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The benefits and risks of solar-powered irrigation - a global overview

Source(s):  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Headquarters (FAO)

This report takes stock of the experiences with solar powered irrigation systems (SPIS) around the world. 

What are the real costs and benefits of SPIS compared with other technologies? What rules, regulations and policies are needed to manage the risks and realize the potential of such systems? What are viable business models? How can smallholders benefit? How can the risk of groundwater depletion be addressed effectively? How can SPIS help to empower women and promote gender equity? What types of capacity development programmes are needed to support farmers, extension workers, local private sectors and others? What are the opportunities for knowledge exchange and technology transfer? 

The report also stresses the importance of water resources assessments and planning to avoid increasing pressures on water resources. By reducing costs, SPIS can improve people’s access to water. Nevertheless, without incentive to moderate water consumption, there is a strong risk of overexploitation, and even depletion of water resources.

Essentially, this report looks at how different countries work to create an enabling environment for SPIS technologies, while managing the risks and challenges that come with it. As such, it is a timely reflection of past and future trends and clearly highlights the interlinked nature of water, energy and agriculture. 



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  • The benefits and risks of solar-powered irrigation - a global overview
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) Hartung, Hans; Pluschke, Lucie
  • Number of pages 87 p.

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