International Energy Initiative,
Asian Regional Energy Initiative,
80-B Spencer Road, 2nd Cross, Fraser Town,
Bangalore 560 005,

+91 80 2555 3375

+91 80 2555 3375



The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the IEI

Integrating energy conservation practices towards sustainable agriculture: the case of small farms in India

 The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the International Energy Initiative (IEI) has just completed its project Integrating energy conservation practices towards sustainable agriculture: the case of small farms in India”.  The project objective was to demonstrate improvement in the efficiency of energy-resource use in agriculture, and thereby conservation of resources and sustainable improvement in livelihoods, integrating benefits for the rural folk, the infrastructure utilities, and the environment.

The planned demonstration of improved irrigation and manuring practices was implemented at a sample of 50 farms located in rural Bengalooru (now called Ramanagara) and Tumakooru districts of Karnataka state.

 The main project activities during the 12-month period were:

  •       Assessment of baseline resource use: The first phase of the project included the assessment and documentation of the existing pattern of inputs to the crop fields – groundwater for irrigation, electricity for extracting this groundwater (if electrically-extracted), and fertilizers (chemical or natural) during land preparation and crop-growing.

  •       Implementation of efficient resource use: Once the baseline resource use was evaluated, a series of efficiency improvements with respect to resource use was implemented.  These included replacement of the existing pumps with efficiency-certified (“starred”) new pumps with equivalent discharge, providing shared access to a bore-well and efficient pump for rain-fed farms, and enabling efficient water application through the installation of micro-irrigation (drip and sprinkler) systems.  Cost-effective and environmentally-beneficial soil enrichment methods were also initiated.

     Monitoring of post-implementation resource use and study of experiences and results: After the implementation of efficiency-improvements, the post-efficiency use of resources was assessed and compared with the baseline values. (This monitoring of resource use is continuing even after the one-year project completion).  Finally, the results were studied, and the immediate and longer-term impacts on the region and elsewhere were assessed. [Click here for photographs of the project activities].

The main financial support for the project is being provided by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, (Germany) through their 5th round of Sustainable Energy Project Support (


Efficient groundwater-based irrigation in India: Compilation of experiences with implementing irrigation efficiency

Irrigation in India has become increasingly dependent on groundwater, with the consequent impacts on groundwater availability and on energy use for its extraction.  Efforts have been made over the past three decades – from local pilot projects, to state-wide programmes – for improving the efficiency with which groundwater is pumped, and, more recently, for its re-charge and conservation.  In this report, Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the International Energy Initiative (IEI) has compiled the information available, from published reports and papers as well as news bulletins, on the field activities and studies carried out with respect to efficient groundwater extraction and use for agriculture.  Numerous programmes have been included, to the extent that information has been obtainable, but most are on the replacement/retrofitting of electrically-powered irrigation pump sets.

This compilation has two purposes. Firstly, we are beginning a repository on such reports that is publicly accessible and can be expanded with more documents.  As importantly, we intend eliciting lessons from past experiences that would benefit future programmes, thereby improving groundwater-based irrigation and conservation of energy and water.

The main financial support for this project was provided by the Prayas (Energy) Group, Pune.