India hopes to replace diesel with green energy in its farms by 2024

New Delhi (Reuters) – India is hoping to cut diesel use by farms to zero and migrate the agriculture sector to renewable energy as early as 2024, the Power Ministry said on Friday, as a part of its broader plan to transition to cleaner energy sources.

“India will replace diesel with renewables to achieve target of zero diesel use in agricultural sector by 2024,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not say how it planned to achieve the ambitious target. In February 2020 it launched a scheme to provide financial incentives to farmers to use solar instead of diesel-fired irrigation pumps.

Diesel accounts for about two-fifths of India’s overall refined fuel consumption, and the farm sector is one of the largest users of the fuel, according to government data.

India is the world’s third largest oil importer. Government data shows that motor fuel sales have picked up in the recent months, but growth in gasoil sales has lagged the demand for gasoline.

Gasoline sales in India have exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels, while 2021 diesel sales were lower than consumption in 2019, according to government data.