International Solar Alliance
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General Studies 2
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
General Studies 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- First international treaty-based organisation that enables co-operation among sun-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, as this is the region worldwide with a surplus of bright sunlight for most of the year, who are seeking to ramp up solar energy, thereby helping to bend the global greenhouse emissions curve whilst providing clean and cheap energy.
- Jointly announced by PM of India and President of France following the Paris Declaration at the UN Climate Change Conference on November 30, 2015.
Vision: Promotion of solar energy for making solar energy a valuable source of affordable and reliable green and clean energy in member countries
ISA Headquarter and interim Secretariat: Gurugram, India
Goals and Focus Areas:
The ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which would require $1 trillion to achieve. India has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy.
The key focus areas of the alliance are
- Promoting solar technologies, new business models and investment in the solar sector,
- Formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications
- Develop innovative financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital build
- A common knowledge e-Portal to facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies
- R&D among member countries
Significance of the First ISA summit – Delhi Summit
India can lead in the global environmental diplomacy: First time, the HQ is in India.
- What makes ISA a true game-changer is that it is a partnership of mostly developing countries, which despite being endowed with excellent solar insolation, are among the most energy-poor.
- Welcome departure from the times when deliberations over the transfer of climate-friendly technologies were hostage to the entrenched positions of the US, EU and developing countries.
A clear call for Technology Transfer:
- Poor technological capabilities could come in the way of countries that get about 300 days of sunshine in a year will bring down their chances of leveraging the platform.
- India is focusing on decentralizing energy resources for their level of development by working on basic projects like electrification, green pumps, and green buildings.
- Need to focus on ‘Make in India’ and come up with green technology. As the economies of scale increase, the cost of production will come down.
Need for concessional and less-risky finances for raising the share of solar electricity available for such projects to achieve the ISA target of over 1000 GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over $1 trillion by 2030.
- Financing the solar projects in many developing countries has high cost. Initiatives have to be taken by ISA to increase the attractiveness of solar potential.
- Multilateral banks and agencies need to support the developing countries to develop solar technology. Need for long term finance at less interest to increase the solar footprint.
Climate change is one of the most serious problems that we face at the moment. India is driving the climate dialogue and there is a fundamental shift – through the ISA, India has signaled the world that it has the capacity to reach and potential to become a major power. If it succeeds, India will have presented the world with an alternative model of development, one that is collaborative, equitable, practical, transformative and sustainable. And in ensuring the deployment of solar applications, ISA can essay transformational change — a shift to more sustainable systems of production and consumption, while bringing millions of those unserved by modern energy and economic systems into the fold.
Connecting the Dots:
- The International solar alliance presents multiple opportunities for India. Analyze.
- Discuss the objectives of International Solar Alliance.