Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Macron and Modi kick-start International Solar Alliance

The ISA’s five solar programs The ISA’s five solar programs
Andrew Cummings | 13 March, 2018, 10:46

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said advanced and affordable technology is needed to deliver solar energy around the world.

As the International Solar Alliance (ISA) kicked off its founding conference in New Delhi this past weekend, India and France publicly reaffirmed their commitment to working together to fight climate change. "Solar energy can help us do all", Solheim, the Executive Director of UN Environment told PTI.

Besides Macron, heads of state and government from 23 countries including France, Australia and Sri Lanka are attending the founding conference of ISA being co-hosted by India and France.

Since 2002 the European Investment Bank (EIB) has financed more than €6.35 billion worth of new solar energy investment, which means that in 2017 alone the Bank's solar financing accounted for 16.5% of its total solar energy investments. "That's why we are here in order to act very concretely", Macron added. "They didn't wait, they didn't stop because few countries made a decision to just leave the floor and the Paris agreement", Macron said.

"Sun is actually considered as a life nurturer in India", he said at the conference wherein various nation heads and global leaders from across the globe have lauded the role and "exemplary leadership" of PM Modi and the French President Macron. They began to act and achieve concrete results.

It was India and France who front-ended the attempts to set up ISA and launched it on the first day of the United Nations conference on climate change held in Paris in November 2015.

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The member states agreed to facilitate joint research and Development, to consider off-grid solar applications to cater to the energy requirements of poorer and remote communities and to facilitate awareness and skills enhancement of local communities in the monitoring and maintenance of solar technologies.

Interestingly, France is the co-host for the founding conference of the ISA which is a treaty-based worldwide body with 121 prospective member countries. Of the 121 countries associated with ISA, 61 have joined the alliance and 32 have ratified the framework agreement.

The oblique reference was towards US President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, which was signed by almost 200 countries in December 2015 in an effort to curb global greenhouse gas emission and limit global warming to within 2 degrees Celsius.

Without taking US President Donald Trump's name, Macron said that while some left the climate deal, others stayed because they wish good for their children and grandchildren.

The ISA will support various PV initiatives in countries between the tropics by backing the likes of ADB's New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025. This comes even as India chases the world's largest renewable programme, targeting 175 gigawatts (GW, or 1,000 megawatts) of renewable power by 2022 against its current capacity of around 60 GW.

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