ISA: Sun shine for India

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INTRODUCTION


India has announced $1.4 billion for solar energy, one of the world’s largest investment plans in solar energy at the first conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

ABOUT ISA

The ISA is an international treaty-based coalition of 121 solar resource-rich countries, which are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, headquartered in India.

The initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 by the President of France and the Prime Minister of India.

The idea behind the ISA was to form a coalition of solar resource to collaborate and address the huge gaps in their energy requirement through a common approach.

Its objective is to address the special energy needs of countries and to provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

The alliance has 121 counties associated with it, out of the 121, 61 have joined it and 32 have ratified the agreement.

KEY-HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FUNDING


The announcement came at the first conference of the International Solar Alliance, which India co-hosted with France. The summit was co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Marcon, who is on a four-day visit to India.

India will provide assistance of $1.4 billion for solar energy worldwide, while French President has committed to allocate €700 million in additional spending to its commitment to solar energy by 2022, taking the total commitment to €1 billion.

The assistance of $1.4 billion will cover 27 projects in 15 countries.

India has committed to generating 175 GW (gigawatt) of electricity from renewable sources by 2022 (100 GW from solar and 60 GW from wind).

During the summit, setting up of a Project Preparation Facility (PPF) by India to assist its development partner countries towards the preparation of viable projects was also announced.

The first conference of ISA was attended by 23 heads of state and heads of government and several other top-level officials from many countries

BENEFITS FOR INDIA & THE WORLD

First and foremost, the member countries of ISA will pursue an increased share of solar energy in the final energy consumption in their respective national energy mix to tackle the global challenge of climate change.

The member countries vowed to explore innovative financing mechanisms that can generate a sustainable market for the deployment of cost-effective solar technologies and to reduce the cost of solar projects in developing countries.

For India, it will be the first time, an international treaty body will have its secretariat in this country.

CONCLUSION


India is developing as a global climate leader by committing to contribute $27 million to the ISA for creating the corpus, developing infrastructure and recurring expenditure over the five-year duration from 2016-17 to 2020-21. In addition to this, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has contributed $1 million each for creating the ISA corpus. For India, the establishment of ISA represents an important diplomatic achievement. As the originator of the idea and host, India has a special responsibility in ensuring that ISA delivers on its promise. If it succeeds, India will have presented the world with an alternative model of development, one that is collaborative, equitable, practical, transformative and sustainable. It is India’s chance to provide global leadership to address the biggest challenges confronting humanity: poverty, climate change. The time for talk is over. To borrow French President Emmanuel Macron’s words, ‘Now let’s get to work.

JAI HIND