The third International Solar Alliance (ISA) Programme on ‘Scaling Up Minigrids and Microgrids’ was launched by Mr Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of New and Renewable Energy. This programme aims to bring in affordable and reliable solar applications for scaling solar mini grids within the reach of all ISA island states and rural and remote areas of other ISA member states.
The session on “Africa-India Cooperation on Powering Africa – Strengthening ISA and Africa-India RE Partnerships” was organised in Ahmedabad today by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as part of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank.
Mr Goyal said that Indo-African ties are not just strategic but based on historical ties and shared values. India is keen to share best practices and latest technology in the area of renewable energy (RE) to power the remotest and poorest corners of Africa. He defined the Indo-African partnership as based on empathy rather than sympathy as the countries face similar challenges.
The Minister said that ISA is an ideal platform to share experiences, technology, and R&D, and also aims to create a good financial model. While 15 African nations are signatories to ISA, he urged other nations from the subcontinent to join the agreement. Mr Goyal said that affordable, quality, and reliable power supply can help a country rise above poverty.
Mr Sumant Sinha, Chairman, CII Committee on Renewable Energy, and Founder Chairman & CEO, ReNew Power Ventures, said that India is aiming to generate 100 gigawatts of RE by 2022 to ensure energy security and combat climate change. He added that huge capacities slated to come in RE over the next few years will benefit a host of stakeholders across the entire value chain. He said greater cooperation and stronger partnership can help Africa can benefit from India’s huge strides in the area of RE.
Mr O S Sastry, Head, R&D, ISA said that ISA is a truly unique treaty based organisation as it is dedicated to solar power and that it is an action-oriented organisation that is involved in project generation and successul implementation. He added that aggregation of demand is the most basic principle of ISA, which lends it the advantage of greater economies of scale and hence better optimisation of resources.