One Sun One World One Grid
TOPIC: General Studies 3
In News: India has come up with a ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) initiative to set up a framework for facilitating global cooperation, aiming at building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be seamlessly shared.
The idea: To utilise solar power when the sun is not shining in other parts of the world by building a common transmission system – The OSOWOG mantra is “The Sun Never Sets” and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE), through this initiative, plans to build global consensus about sharing solar resources among more than 140 countries of West Asia and South-East Asia.
With India at the center, the solar spectrum is divided into two broad zones, namely, Far East, which would include countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. The far west would cover the West Asia and the African region
Issued a request for proposal for developing a long-term vision, implementation plan, road map, and institutional framework for its One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) program, and identify two or three cross-border projects that can be initiated within one or two years, “preferably one with each of Middle East, South East and Africa regions considering India as the grid fulcrum for these identified pilots. This grid shall be interconnected with the African power pools also at the later stage.
The ambitious task unveiled on 26 May has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank with the last date of proposal submission being 6 July.
The plan has been spread across three phases.
Phase I: The first phase deals with the Middle East—South Asia—-South East Asia (MESASEA) interconnection for sharing green energy sources such as solar for meeting electricity needs including peak demand.
- Fostering cross-border energy trade is an important part of Modi’s South Asia-focused neighbourhood-first policy.
- India has been supplying power to Bangladesh and Nepal and has been championing a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) electricity grid minus Pakistan to meet electricity demand in the region.
- The initial plans also involve setting up an under-sea link to connect with Oman in the West.
Phase II: MESASEA grid getting interconnected with the African power pools
Phase III: Global interconnection
- Creation of regional and international interconnected green grids can enable sharing of renewable energy across international borders and also balancing. Such grids should work in tandem with the existing grids and will not require parallel grid infrastructure, thus requiring only incremental investment.
- An interconnected grid would help all the participating entities in attracting investments in renewable energy sources as well as utilizing skills, technology and finances.
- Resulting economic benefits would positively impact poverty alleviation and support in mitigating water, sanitation, food and other socioeconomic challenges.
- The proposed integration would lead to reduced project costs, higher efficiencies and increased asset utilization for all the participating entities
Other initiatives taken by the Government
Regional Power Grid: The government is already planning to connect more neighbouring countries through a regional power grid which can be used to supply electricity to surrounding nations without adequate number of power plants. Apart from Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh, which already take power from India, there are plans to connect Sri Lanka with power transmission lines as well. Draft procedural guidelines have been framed for firms to participate in cross-border electricity trade.
SAARC & BIMSTEC: In 2014, India, along with the other countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, had signed an agreement to enable cross-border electricity trade among the member states on a voluntary basis. Later in August 2018, the country also signed a memorandum of understanding for establishing grid interconnection between the members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). The member states of the BIMSTEC are India, Bangladesh Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand.
International Solar Alliance (ISA): India has already initiated the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which aims to deploy over 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity globally and mobilise investment of over $1 trillion towards by 2030.
- It is a treaty-based inter-governmental Organisation.
- It aims to mobilise investment of over $1 trillion by 2030.
- Headquarter: Gurgaon
- It was established following the Paris Declaration as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
- It has become India’s calling card on climate change and is increasingly being viewed as a foreign policy tool
Connecting the Dots:
- International Solar Alliance is India’s gift against Global Warming. Critically examine.
- The Sun Never Sets
- 21st century is the century for India