President Elect, GSC talks about new ISA partnership, plans for global solar promotion

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Signed by Mr. Pranav Mehta, President Elect, GSC, and Mr. Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General of ISA, in Munich, Germany, at the Smarter E event last week, the agreement aims to promote technologies and investment in the solar sector, enhance income generation for the poor, develop innovative financial mechanisms to reduce capital costs, establish local manufacturing capacity, and intensify R&D efforts among ISA members.

Speaking to pv magazine, Mehta outlined the new slogans they are promoting for solar energy: moving ‘From Class to Mass’; and becoming the ideal tool ‘for Poverty Alleviation’.

“One of the bigger objectives is the large deployment of micro- and mini-grids and rooftop installations to promote decentralized energy generation. We are aiming to promote agricultural use of solar energy and take fresh steps to accelerate solar rooftop programs,” he said.

“GSC has pledged to create 10 million jobs and, along with ISA, we are planning a slew of events throughout the member countries to bring solar awareness and optimize sector skills.”

 Resist trade barriers

On the policy front, Mehta wants the Indian government to resist the temptation of trade barriers in the name of protecting the local industry, ensure Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) compliance, and encourage the export of solar EPC services.

Emphasizing affordable financing, Mehta added that many private equity funds and institutions, including the World Bank, Green Climate Funds, Green Bonds and Pension Funds, are ready to invest in the fast emerging solar markets.

Expanding membership

Speaking about ISA at the Indo-German Energy Dialogue on Solar PV Market Development in India – also held at last week’s Smarter E event, Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said the developed world has the technology and the developing world the markets.

To make economic sense, the two must come together. To this end, he said, the alliance needs to consider expanding membership beyond the tropics.

To date, the ISA has attracted121 member countries and, at last count, 65 countries are signatories to the association’s Framework Agreement. It has set a target of adding1 TW of solar energy capacity by 2030, which will require an investment of around US$1 trillion.

The GSC, meanwhile, counts around 30 countries, and corporations like UniLever, Eon, Enel, GCL, Trina Solar and JA Solar, among its members. It was established in May 2012, by the then leaders of Applied Materials, Dow Corning, DuPont, First Sola, Lanco Solar, Phoenix Solar, and Suntech.