New Delhi: The founding ceremony of the International Solar Alliance was held in New Delhi on March 11. It was followed by the first summit of the Alliance.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30, 2015. The idea behind this partnership was to form a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address the identified gaps in their energy requirements through a common approach.
The ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French President Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve.
In his speech at the plenary session of the summit, PM Modi shared an action plan for clean energy:
The plan includes making affordable solar technology available to all nations
Raising the share of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells in the energy mix.
Framing regulations and standards, consultancy support for bankable solar projects.
Developing a network of centers for excellence.
Concessional and less-risky finances for raising the share of solar electricity in the energy mix.
Narendra Modi also outlined India’s achievement in solar revolution. “We have distributed 28 crores LED bulbs in the last three years which have helped save $2 billion and 4 GW of electricity to supplement solar energy generation”. Speaking at the summit, President Macron took a jibe on the US and said while some countries decided just to leave the Paris Agreement because they don’t see climate change a serious issue, others decided to act. France will extend an extra 700 million euros ($861.5 million) through loans and donations by 2022 for solar projects in emerging economies, he said.
Speaking at the conference, which India co-hosted with France, the Prime Minister also referred to the Vedas. “For millions of years, the sun has been giving light and life to the world. From Japan to Peru, France to Rome, Egypt and the eastern civilization –the sun has been given utmost importance,” he said.
“But in Indian viewpoint, for thousands of years, the sun has been the unparalleled centre. In India, the Vedas for thousands of years have considered the sun the soul of the world. In India, the sun is considered the nourisher. Now that we are looking for a way to deal with the challenge of climate change, we have to look back at ancient view of balance and perspective,” he added.
The ISA is open to 121 prospective member countries which are located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as this region receives a surplus of bright sunlight for most of the year.
So far, only 56 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican, Republic, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Yemen.
ISA was attended by twenty- three heads of state, senior representatives of many countries, several top ministers and bureaucrats apart from participants from multilateral banks, and the United Nations.