Heads of 23 nations and 10 ministerial representatives gathered in New Delhi, India to attend the first edition of the International Solar Alliance Summit.
The world is becoming progressively technology-driven. In its pursuit for seizing new boundaries of scientific knowledge, mankind is implementing tools that are technology-centric. In all this, energy is a key factor. Certainly, energy today plays a key role in determining levels of development.
For equitable development of nations across the world, it is indispensable that access to and appropriate availability of energy sources should be guaranteed to all.
For India, solar power is quickly gaining fame at the grass-root level as the country has started to harness the energy to meet energy demands.
Against this backdrop, India and France recently co-hosted the first International Solar Alliance Summit in New Delhi, India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the summit. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind co-hosted the event with his French counterpart at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 11, 2018.
International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a treaty based inter-governmental association consisting of 121 countries lying between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, held in the months of October 2015 and November 2015, respectively.
It’s important to note that solar energy generation is a pricey business and budding markets find it hard to finance the projects. Encouraging solar energy and reducing the use of fossil fuels in sunshine rich nations is the foremost plan of this alliance. While concentrating on a variety of aspects of pushing solar energy such as crowd funding, credit mechanism, and sharing of technological breakthroughs, India made its intentions very clear.
In his endeavours to make reliable and affordable solar technology accessible to all nations, Modi has presented a 10-point action plan which included raising the share of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells in the energy mix, framing of regulations and standards and consultancy support for bankable solar projects.
To accomplish these objectives, the Alliance aspires to put through financial instruments to mobilize over $1 trillion in solar energy investment by 2030.
Also, in a hope to make solar panels cheaper than China, India offered Line of Credit worth $1392.48 M for solar projects for African countries besides Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This Line of Credit is being offered at interest rates cheaper than Chinese commercial loans.
"This tiny plant of the International Solar Alliance could not be planted without the joint efforts and commitments of all of you present here. I am very grateful to France and to you all for making this possible. Of the 121 potential countries, 61 have already joined the International Solar Alliance. 32 have ratified the Framework Agreement,” said Modi in his speech at the summit.
So far, 56 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican, Republic, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Yemen.