The International Solar Alliance held its foundation day conference on Sunday in New Delhi. The conference was co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. The summit was also attended by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and heads of states and dignitaries from other member countries.
Speaking at the conference, PM Modi called for concessional financing and low-risk funding for solar projects so that the share of solar power can be raised in the energy basket and cheaper electricity can be provided while reducing carbon emissions. While stressing the need for cheaper solar tech to drive the initiative to success, he said, “We have to provide concessional financing and less-risky funds for solar projects,” he said.
He presented the member countries with his 10-point action plan that aimed at making solar technology more affordable to all countries while raising the share of power generated from photovoltaic cells, and framing rules and standards to govern the initiative. “We have to increase the share of solar in the energy mix,” PM Modi said.
He said that by 2022 India will have built up the capacity to generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of power from renewable energy sources, double the current capacity. This will even overtake the renewable energy expansion plans for the EU.
The idea for ISA was proposed by India in 2015 at the Cop21 Paris Climate Summit and ISA was established to try and tap solar energy in countries lying in part or fully between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
ISA is a treaty-based intergovernmental organisation, the first of its kind to be based in India. One of the primary aims of the ISA is to raise and around $1 trillion investment to be utilised by 2030. ISA already lists 121 mission projects.
PM Modi said that policy has to be in consonance with sustainable development goals. “We have to strengthen ISA Secretariat and make it professional.”
“In India, the vedas considered the sun as the spirit of the world thousands of years ago. The sun is considered to be the nutrition needed to sustain life. Today, when we are looking for a way to tackle the challenges of climate change, we have to look at the balanced and holistic view of India’s ancient philosophy,” he said.
Speaking at the summit, Macron said that while the US had decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, others had decided to act. The French president said that France was committed to extend an additional 700 million euros in the form of loans and donations by 2022 to emerging economies for solar projects.
Macron said that he will inaugurate a 100 MW solar plant near Varanasi tomorrow with PM Modi. “We should not forget that we only have one planet and we are sharing it and for that there is no alternatives. There is a joint destiny which means we also have some joint duties,” President Macron said.
The summit focussed on various factors of solar energy such as power generation, capacity building, credit mechanism crowd funding, technology sharing etc. Out of 121 prospective member countries, 60 have signed the treaty and 30 have ratified it. Heads of states, representatives and ministers from 23 countries are participating in the summit.