Session 2.2: Sustainable Energy Use for Water: Focus on Irrigation

May 22nd, 2019

As populations continue to grow rapidly across Asia, it is important to discuss how to improve the sustainability of irrigation while also improving overall agriculture production, in order to meet growing demand. Presenters in this session focused on solar-based and grid powered irrigation and will highlight energy-saving mechanisms for groundwater pumping and water transmission, including efficient water use for irrigation.

Moderator: Priyantha Wijayatunga (Director, Energy Division, South Asia Regional Department for ADB)


Hydro-Economic Modelling to Address Trade-offs between Food Production and Biofuels: How do We Choose?
Benjamin Lord, Water Resources Engineer, RTI International

Food production, energy generation, and water supply systems are inextricably linked. This presentation highlighted a semi-distributed, global rainfall-runoff model and an economic demand model that can identify trade-offs among competing irrigation, hydropower and urban water supply demands across space and time. Example applications of this framework were presented from the Philippines, Laos, Guatemala, and Brazil.

Using Irrigation Canals to Electrify Remote Villages
Michael Carroll, CEO HeliosAltas Corp.

This presentation provided an overview of the proprietary Helios micro-gird and demonstrate how a combination of micro hydro using a local irrigation canal, PV, storage and Pico grid devices can effectively and economically and cleanly electrify an off-grid community in a few days. This micro-grid concept can electrify remote villages with access to any type of open stream or irrigation canal.

Achieving Energy, Water and Food Sustainability through Agricultural Demand Side Management Elaborated through Case Studies from India
Meghana Jayakumar, Research Associate, The Energy and Resources Institute

Water, energy and food security are three vital sleaze factors that decide the existence and development of a nation. This presentation provided the approach and methodology of study done in Karnataka, that revealed that Agricultural Demand Side Management (Ag-DSM) along with promotion of best irrigation practices with strong policy support can save both electricity and water, creating better food security and a stronger future.

Data-Driven Strategies for Sustainable Deployment of Solar Pumps
Shalu Agrawal, Programme Lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)

Solar pumps present an opportunity to extend access to irrigation in Asia. The presentation highlighted the Council's multi-pronged research on identifying gaps and solutions to facilitate solar-powered irrigation in a sustainable manner. This ranges from end-users' outlook about solar pumps, financier's risk perceptions and challenges in financing the technology, determinants of sustainability, and a decision support tool to identify locally-suitable deployment strategies for solar pumps.