India hosts 2nd Assembly of International Solar Alliance

Shri Raj Kumar Singh & other dignitaries at the 2nd International Solar Alliance Assembly, in New Delhi on October 31, 2019.

Delegations from 78 countries participated in 2nd Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) which was organised in New Delhi. This includes 29 Ministerial delegations of which 25 are from ISA member countries, 2 from signatory countries and further 2 from prospective member countries.  The Assembly also has participation from important ISA Partners, and other invitees.

President of ISA and Minister of Power, New & Renewable Energy and Skill Development Entrepreneurship, Government of India Shri R.K. Singh ,while speaking at this assembly, emphasized the increasing importance of solar energy. He informed about the steps that India has taken to support the International Solar Alliance which India along France launched.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy hosted the second Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 30 and 31 October 2019 New Delhi. While on 30 October 2019, coordination and consultation meetings on different aspects of ISA programmes and initiatives was held.

Two countries – Eritrea and St. Kittis and Nevis, signed the framework agreement of ISA on 31st,oct,2019.  With this 83 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement.

Under the impending threat of climate change, renewable have  assumed atmost importance in the global agenda. The International Solar Alliance (ISA is India’s contribution to the global efforts for decarbonizing the energy systems  and allowing countries around the world in align domestic priorities with global sustainability commitments.

Conceived as a vision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, ISA is reflection of India’s commitment for universalizing the use of solar energy.  It has the potential to transform the world’s energy scenario while yielding social and economic gains for the global population.

Shri Raj Kumar  Singh and other dignitaries at the 2nd International Solar Alliance  Assembly, in New Delhi on October 31, 2019.
Shri Raj Kumar Singh and other dignitaries at the 2nd International Solar Alliance Assembly, in New Delhi on October 31, 2019

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi pledged to increase renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022 and committed for further increasing it to 450 GW. 

India stands among the top five countries of the world in terms of solar energy capacity and total renewable energy capacity.   Facilitation for procurement of power through transparent tariff based competitive bidding has led to a remarkable reduction in cost of solar and wind power. 

With over 82 GW renewable capacity on ground and about 70 GW at different stage of fruition.  India is well on the way to realize the ambitious target of 175 GW by 2022. 

India is making all efforts to ensure that ISA through  its focused vision and action oriented approach will succeed in addressing the biggest challenges confronting  humanity –  sustainable energy, energy poverty and climate change.

Brune Poirson, the Co-President ISA and the French minister for ecological and inclusive transition thanked India for its leadership in the field of solar energy.

She also talked about the ISA objectives which included lowering the cost of energy, increasing investment in the renewable energy, and training and sharing of knowledge and technological knowhow among the member countries.

BACKGROUND

1.The Assembly is the supreme decision making body of the ISA, and gives directions on various administrative, financial and programme related issues. Shri R.K. Singh, Minister for New and Renewable Energy and Power is President of the ISA Assembly and Ms Brune Poirson, Minister of State for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Govt. of France, is the Co-President of the Assembly.

2. Earlier 81 countries of the 121 prospective member countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA. Of these, 58 countries have ratified the same. The Assembly was attended by the Ministers and delegates from member States, Observer States, ISA Partners, and other invitees. Over 400 delegates are expected to participate in the Assembly.

3.The first Assembly of the ISA was attended by 78 countries, and they had affirmed their determination to accelerate the deployment of solar energy worldwide for achieving universal energy access at affordable rates.

Recognizing that ISA has a major role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, and objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and that the ISA initiative would benefit the world at large, during the first Assembly of the ISA an Indian resolution to extend the Membership of the organisation to all countries that are Members of the United Nations was adopted.

4.Since the first Assembly on 3 October 2018, ISA has initiated many activities and programmes. Demand for over 1000 MW solar power and 300000 solar water pumps has been aggregated from ISA member countries.

Some of the major activities for building domestic capacity of the ISA member countries include ITEC Master Trainers Programme at NISE Gurugram; M. Tech programme for mid-career professionals at IIT, Delhi; STAR-C programme, and development of the INFOPEDIA.

In order to understand the challenges and issues ‘on the ground’ and to strengthen support for ISA programmes, the ISA sent country missions to eight countries over the course of 2019 – to Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Togo, and Uganda.

ISA has significantly extended outreach and have partnered with over 40 organizations. These broadly include UN, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), international and regional organizations and foundations, and private sector players.

5. India has been providing all out support for realizing ISA’s vision and objectives. The Government of India has allotted 5 acres of land to the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) campus, Gurugram and has released a sum of Rs. 160 crore, i.e. US$ 26 million for creating a corpus fund, building infrastructure and meeting day to day recurring expenditure of the ISA up to the year 2012-22.

As per commitment, India will release additional Rs. 15 crore, i.e. US$ 2.1 million in the year 2020-21. In addition, various Public Sector Enterprises of Government of India have contributed US$ 8 million for augmenting ISA corpus fund.

Apart from these, India has set aside US$ 2 Billion for solar projects in Africa out of Government of India’s US$10 Billion concessional Line of Credit (LOC) for Africa. Exim Bank of India is implementing this line of credit in close coordination with ISA countries in Africa.

On the 24th September 2019, on the side-lines of the 74th UN General Assembly, India announced allocation of US$ 12 million grant, and a concessional LOC of US$ 150 Million for Pacific Islands Developing States for undertaking solar, renewable energy and climate related projects.

6.The ISA, is an Indian initiative that was launchedby the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30 November 2015 at Paris, France on the side-lines of the COP-21, with 121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn as prospective members.

The overarching objective of the ISA is to collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries. It also aims to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize investments needed for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs.

ISA has been positioned to help create the conditions that would make funding, developing and deploying solar applications on a large scale a reality. ISA is now perceived as key to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

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