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The Fourth Assembly of the ISA will deliberate on 

  • IASbaba
  • October 22, 2021
  • 0
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Oct 18: Global Solar Grid – https://youtu.be/25xFKFJH4GE 

TOPIC:

  • GS-II – Global Groupings
  • GS-III – Energy

The Fourth Assembly of the ISA will deliberate on 

  • The key initiatives around the operationalisation of the OSOWOG initiative
  • The $1 trillion Solar Investment Roadmap for 2030
  • Approval of a Blended Financial Risk Mitigation Facility
  • Discuss the strategic plan of the ISA for the next five years encompassing a Country Partnership Framework, Strategy for Private Sector Engagement
  • Discuss initiatives such as Viability Gap Financing scheme to facilitate affordable finance for solar energy projects across ISA’s membership. 
  • Discuss the partnership with Global Energy Alliance (GEA) to scale up technical and financial support to LDCs and SIDS.

‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) initiative 

Proposed by India to set up a framework for facilitating global cooperation which aims at building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be easily shared

  • Envisions building and scaling inter-regional energy grids to share solar energy across the globe, leveraging the differences of time zones, seasons, resources, and prices between countries and regions
  • Help decarbonise energy production, which is today the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • With India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the ISA signing a tripartite agreement on OSOWOG, the initiative could be the world’s most important renewables catalyst. It can unlock unprecedented economies of scale in energy generation and transmission. 
  • Rigorous assessments and modelling have confirmed the initiative’s technical and economic viability, building a strong business case. 
  • Its commercial feasibility has been further augmented by multilateral development banks such as World Bank, which are helping create markets by driving down costs of solar power.

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

Benefits

  • 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

International Solar Alliance

  • 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

ISA presents numerous opportunities to India like:

1) Energy security: It reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, especially imports. It also helps provide electricity to remotest parts of the country and thereby helps in improving standard of living of the inhabitants of these areas.

2) Environmental security: It reduces pollution due to burning of fossil fuels and therefore decreases both health and ecological costs.

3) Economic opportunities: India can transform itself as a Global Manufacturing hub of photo voltaic cells. Apart from earning valuable FOREX through exports, it can also boost employment and livelihood opportunities in India. Therefore, helping us to harness our valuable demographic dividend.

4) Diplomatic opportunities: It helps in solidifying India’s position as a global leader in renewable energy production; it furthers global North-South and South-South cooperation (like training SOLAR MAMAS of Nigeria) and portrays India as a climate sensitive nation.

Can you answer the following question?

  1. The International solar alliance presents multiple opportunities for India. Analyse.
  2. With favourable tropical geography, huge domestic demand, and high export potential, India can be a world leader in the field of tapping and utilising solar energy. Do you agree? What are the challenges? Discuss.

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