COP21: India to install 12 GW of solar in 2016

This year, India pledged to add 100 GW of PV capacity by 2022 under its National Solar Mission. On the first day of the climate talks in Paris, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said that 4 GW has already been installed to date, while next year will see 12 GW of new solar capacity added. This is an ambitious figure and much higher than the 3.64 GW Mercom Capital expects to see.

His comment came at the launch of the International Solar Alliance, comprised of more than 120 countries. Modi explained the alliance is a "long cherished dream" of his. The aim is to make solar cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to the grid. He said it is so important as so many people – around 1.2 billion – are still without access to electricity. The alliance is a "sunrise of new hope for clean energy and villages and homes still in darkness," he said.

In addition to collaborating on research and innovation, sharing knowledge and exchanging best practices, the alliance will discuss regulatory issues, promote common standards, and attract investment. It will also create joint ventures and develop innovative financing mechanisms.

The alliance will see developed and developing countries, and governments and industries working together in a "common enterprise." Modi said India is pleased to host the initiative at the premises of its National Institute of Solar. In addition to providing land, the government will contribute $30 million to building a new HQ. The eventual goal, reported the Guardian, is to raise $400 million from membership fees, and international agencies.

The unveiling of alliance has attracted praise from across the board, with the World Resources Institute (WRI) saying it signals India’s global leadership. It added that the alliance will play an "“important role" in advancing solar deployment globally.

"The international alliance brings together developing and developed countries to expand energy access, accelerate solar power deployment, and stimulate economic development. Intended to mobilize $1 trillion in investment, the alliance should drive down the costs of solar power, making it affordable for a growing number of communities," it commented.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe added, "We commend PM Modi and India for spearheading this collaborative initiative which recognize solar as a key solution to fight climate change whilst providing clean and affordable energy to millions of people. We wish the International Solar Alliance a fruitful two weeks in Paris and look forward to future cooperation." EU ProSun also applauded the move.

A number of other initiatives were also unveiled at COP21 yesterday, including the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which encompasses a total of 28 parties, including Jeff Bezos, Amazon, HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, and Richard Branson, Virgin, who have pledged to invest funds in clean energy projects in order to finance energy that is "reliable, affordable and does not produce carbon."

Meanwhile, under Mission Innovation, a group of 20 governments from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, the U.K., the UAE and the U.S., have pledged to double investment in clean energy innovation over the next five years.

The COP21 summit runs from November 30 to December 7. pv magazine will be reporting live from the event next week, in addition to providing ongoing coverage of the most pertinent stories over the next few days.