India’s Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal and Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea, in charge of International Relations on Climate and President of COP21 co-chaired a Ministerial Side Event on International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Headquarters of the United Nations in New York on April 22.
In order to accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales in their countries, Ministers and Representatives from over 25 countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Peru, Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka ,Mali, India, USA and France participated at this event.
The Two Programmes of the ISA “Affordable finance at scale”; and Programme “Scaling solar applications for agricultural use”, were launched during the event.
While announcing the programmes, Goyal expressed his confidence that these programmes will serve the interests of the farming communities in the prospective ISA member countries and ensure that there is sufficient flow of affordable finance for solar projects. He further stated that the ISA will provide a vibrant platform to bring together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate demand for solar energy globally, thereby reducing prices; promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity; and facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale.
As an initial step, Ministers agreed to start analysing and sharing the needs, objectives, and obstacles to deployment at scale along the value chain, for those applications for which they seek the benefits of collective action under the Alliance. On this basis, they will design innovative Programmes leveraging initiatives from the ground.
The ministers agreed to take concerted action through targeted Programmes launched on a voluntary basis, to better harmonize and aggregate the demand for:
- Solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of more than US $ 1000 billion investment in solar assets in member countries;
- Mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at small scale and need to be scaled up;
- Future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic and collaborative solar R&D, to improve the efficiency and integration of solar power as well as increase the number of solar applications available.
A common buyers market for solar finance, technology, innovation, capacity building etc., will lead to higher quality, lower costs, products better tailored to needs, collaborative innovation, technology ownership, and a more balanced dialogue with all stakeholders. This will empower solar-rich countries, lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, which share common challenges and opportunities.
The International Steering Committee of ISA which had met in New York on 21 April 2016 had approved the Programmes on Agriculture and Finance. Prospective member countries will begin work at the earliest and the process of implementation will be reviewed at the Founding Conference of the ISA scheduled to be held in the near future in New Delhi.
“ISA Trillion Dollar Opportunity to serve Humanity” : Piyush Goyal
“The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a trillion dollar opportunity to serve humanity and those in the dark,” said Piyush Goyal. The Minister was speaking at the Roundtable on International Solar Alliance -the Trillion Dollar Opportunity- organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Terrawatt Initiative (TWI) under the aegis of the International Solar Alliance
“India has launched this initiative as an obligation towards the larger humanity as an article of faith, ” said Goyal. He further added that for India, this is not being dictated by external exigencies. He called upon stakeholders beyond governments to make this initiative a success.
The ISA which comprises 121 countries that lie partially or fully between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn is intended to create a platform for larger collaboration for technology, research and development and capacity building. “This is about improving the quality of life of large number of people who are still grappling with problems of energy and accessibility at affordable prices,” the Minister said.
The Global Solar Council also committed to creating 25 million jobs in the solar space among the ISA countries. Similar commitments of dedicating a part of their funding portfolio to renewables was given by GIIC, a federation of pension funds.
Speaking earlier at the session, Sumant Sinha, Chairman, CII Special Task Force on Solar said, “The efforts of the governments in the ISA countries will have to matched with efforts by the business community through collaborative efforts.”
Isabelle Kocher, Chairperson, TWI, delivered the welcome address and urged stakeholders to work towards making solar accessible through technology and cheap sustainable finance.
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