A Curtain Raiser Event for the Founding Ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held at Bonn, Germany on Monday.
Speaking at the event, Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India said that, in the spirit of affirmative action, developed countries will earmark a percentage of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) towards solar energy projects in developing countries. He suggested that Multilateral Development Banks and other financial institutions provide wholehearted support for solar projects through low cost finance, and research & technology institutions worldwide try their utmost to bring the cost of solar power and storage within the reach of all. Kumar also invited corporates and other institutions to support solar energy development and deployment in every possible manner.
Recalling that the ISA initiative is the vision of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, Kumar reaffirmed Indian Government’s continued support for the ISA. He also spoke about the Government plans to increase the share of renewable energy in India’s energy mix, especially towards achieving cumulative installed renewable power capacity of 175GW by 2022.
Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, C.K. Mishra, underlined the need for visualising solar energy in the context of sustainable development goals. He emphasised upon the need for arranging technologies, finance and capacity building for solar energy projects, as well as for developing storage technologies. He also suggested that there is a need to work in the areas of renewable power evacuation and application of off-grid solar energy.
Interim Director General of the ISA, Upendra Tripathy, informed that ISA will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation on 6 December 2017. 44 countries have already signed the ISA treaty, and many more are set to join. He spoke on the ISA’s three ongoing programmes: facilitating affordable finance for solar, scaling up solar applications for agriculture, and promoting solar mini-grids in Member Nations. The discussions also covered the ISA’s Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) project, aimed at de-risking investments into solar energy projects in developing countries, and thereby, encouraging flow of funds into the sector.
Speaking at the occasion, Ségolène Royal, Special Envoy for the implementation of the ISA, Government of France, emphasised upon five key points to accelerate global solar deployment: setting concrete goals, developing and leveraging common tools, enhancing projects, establishing decentralised PV solutions, and forging new partnerships that capitalise on complementary capabilities.
The ISA was jointly launched on 30 November 2015 by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and then-President of France, H.E. François Hollande, on the side lines of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 21 (CoP21) at Paris, France. The ISA is a treaty-based alliance of 121 prospective solar-rich Member Nations situated fully or partially between the Tropics, and aims at accelerating development and deployment of solar energy globally.