International Solar Alliance at COP23: Welcoming the reign of the Sun

The International Solar Alliance Founding Ceremony Curtain Raiser was held today, November 13, at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. So far, the organization has received 44 signatures from member countries; 15 of them have already ratified.

Speaking at the Curtain Raiser of the Founding Ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE, Government of India hoped that, in the spirit of affirmative action, developed countries would earmark a percentage of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) towards solar energy projects in developing countries.

Kumar suggested that Multilateral Development Banks and other financial institutions should provide wholehearted support for solar projects through low-cost finance; and that research and technology institutions worldwide should try their utmost to bring the cost of solar power and storage within reach of all. He also invited corporates and other institutions to support solar energy development and deployment in every possible manner.

C K Mishra, Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, underlined the need for visualizing solar energy in the context of sustainable development goals. He emphasized the need for arranging technologies, finance and capacity building for solar energy projects, as well as for developing storage technologies. He also suggested that there is a need to work in the areas of renewable power evacuation and application of off-grid solar energy.

Interim Director General of the ISA, Upendra Tripathy, said the ISA would become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organization on December 6, 2017. To date, 44 countries have signed the ISA treaty, and many more are set to join.

Tripathy spoke on the ISA’s three ongoing programmes: facilitating affordable finance for solar, scaling up solar applications for agriculture, and promoting solar mini-grids in Member Nations. The discussions also covered the ISA’s Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) project, aimed at de-risking investments into solar energy projects in developing countries, and thereby, encouraging the flow of funds into the sector.

Speaking at the occasion, Ségolène Royal, Special Envoy for the implementation of the ISA, Government of France, emphasized upon five key points to accelerate global solar deployment: setting concrete goals, developing and leveraging common tools, enhancing projects, establishing decentralized PV solutions, and forging new partnerships that capitalize on complementary capabilities.