Economic and Financial Assessment of Solar-Powered Irrigation

  •  Lana Mousa Abu-Nowar    


This paper aimed at assessing the economic and financial viability of solar-powered irrigation of tomato crop in Jordan Valley. Data were collected from 16 tomato farms that use solar-powered irrigation system. Another 16 farms with diesel-powered irrigation system was investigated for comparative reasons. Descriptive statistics, Cost Function Analysis (CFA), Life-cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), Water Productivity (WP) and the financial indicators of Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Payback Period (PP) and Benefit to Cost Ratio (B/C) were the main economic and financial analytical tools used in this study. The results of the study revealed that costs of inputs, labor costs and equipment and maintenance costs have had a lower adverse impact on the total revenues level when using solar-powered irrigation system. The results also indicated the preference of the investigated financial indicators (NPV, IRR, PP and B/C ratio) when solar-powered irrigation is used compared to diesel-powered irrigation. The results also revealed a lower cost of life of the farm under the use of solar-powered irrigation. The governmental policies and programs should be directed toward the concepts of renewable energy in general and solar energy uses in agriculture in particular. Special agricultural extension plans in training and capacity building of farmers and extension workers on the use of solar energy in irrigation of agricultural crops should be developed. Cooperation in the fields of solar energy between the Ministry of Agriculture and related parties such as the Royal Scientific Society and the Ministry of Energy should be initiated to conduct specialized researches in the fields of solar energy use in agriculture.

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