One World, One Sun, One Grid
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
Why is there a need for ‘One World One Sun One Grid’ today, more than ever?
Let us start with the problem –
Fossil fuels continue to exert a stranglehold on the global economy. Coal and natural gas are still burned to produce most of the world’s electricity and run most of its factories, spewing carbon dioxide and other climate-warming gases into the atmosphere. And oil still fuels a majority of cars and trucks, as well as almost every single airplane and ship on the planet, further polluting the air.
Solution – One World One Sun One Grid:
Stressing that India would generate 40 per cent of power from non-fossil fuels by 2030, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for connecting solar energy supply across borders.
- 121-country International Solar Alliance has the potential to become the future OPEC for meeting energy needs of the world.
- Solar power will play the same role that oil wells have played over the past few decades in meeting global energy needs.
India and the global renewable energy revolution: “Solar energy is at the centre of this revolution.”
In the last four years USD 42 billion has been invested in clean energy in India.
- India would add as much as 50 GW of non-hydro renewable energy to existing 72 GW and is successfully marching on the way to achieve the target of having 175 GW of clean energy by 2022.
- This is the right time to invest in renewable energy because there is a possibility of USD 70-80 billion business in the next four years in India.
- As many as 28 lakh solar pumps would be installed which would help avoid 10 GW generation capacity.
- Under UJALA scheme, 31 crore LED bulbs were distributed which saves 40000 Million Units per year and have saved Rs 16,000 crore besides reducing CO2 emissions.
- India has decided 40 per cent of electricity capacity would be non-fossil fuel based by 2030.
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
Must Read: Link 1
The Prime Minister meant well when he suggested that International Solar Alliance can be seen as the future of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) for meeting energy needs of the world. This way solar power can play the same role that oil wells have played over the past few decades.
But what we need to take care of is that ISA should not end up becoming a cartel. ISA should act as a global body that is instrumental in guiding other countries in reducing the effects of climate change and achieving future energy needs, thereby viewing ‘solar power’ as a sustainable fuel for our future.
OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
An intergovernmental organization of 15 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad
By the first five members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela
Headquartered since 1965 in: Vienna, Austria
Publication: World Oil Outlook (WOO)
Mission of the organization: To coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets, in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.
As of September 2018, the 15 countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 81.5 percent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices that were previously determined by the so called “Seven Sisters” grouping of multinational oil companies.
Connecting the Dots:
- The International solar alliance presents multiple opportunities for India. Analyse. Also, discuss its key objectives and challenges in its implementation.