G-4, G-5, G-7…G-20…Passe Modi Leads G-3
G-3. The newest, immediately-ascertained, most-needed, urgently-required Group of Nations in the whole world for its own very existence, survival in the ensuing days (for reasons, read below). In the process, mammothly tom-tomed supercilious G-4, G-5, G-7, G-8…G-20 are out and gone. They are sheer inconsequential, passé, anachronous. If the countries cease to exist, of what use are “G”s?!? (Ongoing joke on G is : Dancing G — G for haggard, haphazard, haywire gypsy). In G-3 : India, France, USA. G-3=International Solar Alliance. Or, India-France-US=G-3=International Solar Alliance. Its Hqs : GwalPahadi in Gurgaon-Faridabad Road.
Officially pronounced cogent, equanimous France President François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande in obscure, almost inconspicuous — not strictly God Forsaken though — GwalPahadi : “Prime Minister Modi put forward the idea of of an international power coalition with two aims : to develop solar energy, particularly in the countries with the greatest potential for it; and to make this energy accessible to all. It was fine idea from country where for millennia, yoga practitioners have greeted the sun every morning so that it shares its energy with the earth. At the opening of Paris Climate Conference on 30 November, we together launched the International Solar Alliance in the presence of many heads of States and CEOs. This alliance is now supported by over 100 countries. Now in January, I am delighted to be able to lay the foundation stone of this Solar Alliance which You wanted and which France supported from the outset. At the Paris Conference, India showed that it was ready to fully commit to energy translation and the fight against climate change. Your country (India) has taken the patrh to a development which is anticipating the end of fossil fuels, fighting pollution and taking control of its needs.”
Hollande with Mdoi was present in GwalPahadi to jointly lay the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NI SE), Gwalpahari, Gurgaon.
Government of India has dedicated 5 acre land in NISE campus for the ISA Headquarters and also has contributed Rs 175 crore for ISA corpus fund and also for meeting expenditure for initial five years.
ISA is part of Prime Minister Modi’s vision to bring clean and affordable energy within the reach of all and create a sustainable world. It will be a new beginning for accelerating development and deployment of solar energy for achieving universal energy access and energy security of the present and future generations.
Prime Minister Modi himself stated that ISA will be India’s first international and inter-governmental organization headquartered in India.ISA will be dedicated to promotion of solar energy for making solar energy a valuable source of affordable and reliable green and clean energy in 121 member countries. He thanked the President of France for his continued help and support in shaping ISA.
Appreciating India (read Modi for India), Hollande said that at Paris Conference, India (Modi for India again) showed that it (actually, he) is (fully) ready to fully commit to energy transition and the fight against climate change. Thanks to India’s (Modi’s) commitment, we are able to secure an ambitious, fair and dynamic agreement in Paris, which is binding for all of humanity. He also said that India’s role will be just as essential in implementing the Paris Agreement and the commitments which have been made. He reaffirmed his commitment by saying that France wants to build the post-Paris Agreement world with India and ISA paves the way for this. The Alliance has France’s full support. He announced that the French Development Agency will allocate €300 million to developing solar energy over the next five years in order to finance the initial projects. He stressed on the fact that contributing to the success of the Alliance also means launching French-Indian projects.
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal informed that an Interim Administrative Cell (IAC) has been made functional for facilitating transition of ISA from de facto to a de jure entity. He also stated that in addition to contribution for creating ISA corpus fund, Government of India has offered training support for ISA member countries at NISE and also support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications. The interim ISA Secretariat has started functioning from the Surya Bhawan of NISE. He mentioned that locating ISA in NISE campus is a great value addition and both the institutions will immensely benefit from each other’s presence and establish vibrant linkages.
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) announced contributed US $ 1 million each to the ISA corpus fund.
ISA has been envisioned as a specialized platform and will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries. The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies for countries’ individual needs.
International Solar Alliance (ISA ) is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countrieslying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.ISA has been envisioned as a specialized platform and will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries. The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies for countries’ individual needs.
ISA will work with partner countries in the identification of national opportunities to accelerate development and deployment of existing clean solar energy technologies, the potential for which largely remains untapped. The increased deployment of solar technologies will benefit the countries in terms of direct and indirect employment opportunities generated and the economic activity that will be triggered through electricity and solar appliance access to predominantly rural households. Across developing countries, it is mostly micro, small and medium enterprises that generate most of the economic activity and are the ones that benefit the most from electricity access, as they will be able to operate into the evening and increasetheir turnover. Increased deployment will also go a long way in realizing social benefits, for example through solar lanterns that improve educational outcomes from increased study hours, and lead to better health service delivery levels across communities. If a rural primary health clinic has solar lights, it is more likely to be staffed after dark, and therefore it is also more likely to be visited by those who need its services.
Mission & Vision : ISA’s Mission and Vision is to provide a platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to the common goals of increasing utilizing of solar energy in meeting energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner
Objectives : The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security & sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.
ISA Focus Area : To achieve the objectives, ISA will have five key focus areas:-
- Promote solar technologies and investment in the solar sector to enhance income generation for the poor and global environment: Encourage member countries to promote investment in solar technologies/applications in areas of lighting, heating, cooling, distillation, desalination, disinfection, sterilization, pasteurization, pumping, storage, refrigeration, telecommunication, irrigation, drinking water supply, energy efficiency, etc. to promote income and welfare of the poor and make global environment more climate friendly;
- Formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications: Together and with partnership of member countries and with cooperation from international organizations, UN member countries, multilaterals, bi-laterals, corporates, non-profits, institutions of member and non-member countries of ISA, formulate projects and programmes to ensure solar light for energy deprived households by the year 2022;
- Develop innovative Financial Mechanisms to reduce cost of capital: Partnering to develop innovative financial mechanism to access low cost, long tenure financial resources from bilateral, multilateral agencies and other sources;
- Build a common Knowledge e-Portal: Build a knowledge platform, including a 24×7 e-portal for sharing of policy development experiences and best practices in member countries; and
- Facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member countries: Promote partnerships among R&D centres of member countries for application oriented research & development and delivering technologies to people as well as capacity building through training & educational programmes and exchange of officials/ entrepreneurs/sector experts/ students/interns/ apprentices, user groups etc.
These focus areas will cater to not just grid connected solar power (Solar parks, Solar thermal projects, Rooftop solar projects, Canal top projects, Solar on water bodies, Farmers and unemployed youths as generators) but also off-grid and decentralised applications (Village electrification and mini-grids, Solar lanterns, Mobile chargers, Solar powered telecom towers, Milk chilling centres, Potters wheels, Solar spinner for weavers, street lights, Solar pumps, Solar heating/cooling, etc.). These activities will contribute significantly in employment generation in a decentralized manner at the local levels, and also in spurring economic activities.
Important Activities : To achieve the above overarching objectives, ISA, by way of supplementing the national efforts of the member countries, through appropriate means will undertake following activities:-
- Collaborations for joint research, development and demonstration, sharing information and knowledge, capacity building, supporting technology hubs and creating networks; ii. Acquisition, diffusion and indigenization and absorption of knowledge, technology and skills by local stakeholders in the member countries;
iii. Creation of expert groups for development of common standards, test, monitoring and verification protocols;
- Creation of partnerships among country specific technology centres for supporting technology absorption for promoting energy security and energy access; v. Exchange of officials/ technology specialists for participation in the training programmes on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries;
Exchange of officials/ technology specialists for participation in the training programmes on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries;
- Encourage companies in the member countries to set up joint ventures;
vii. Sharing of solar energy development experiences, analysis on short- and longer-term issues in key energy supply, financing practices, business models particularly for decentralized applications and off-grid applications, including creation of local platforms focusing on implementation solutions and grass root participation;
viii. Establish new financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital in the renewable energy sector and innovative financing to develop; and
- Collaborate with other multilateral bodies like International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN), United Nations bodies; bilateral organizations; Corporates, industry, and other stakeholders can contribute towards the goal of increasing utilization of solar energy in ISA member countries.
Governance Structure : ISA is proposed to be a multi country partnership organization with membership from solar resource rich countries between the two tropics.
ISA’s proposed governance structure would consist of an Assembly, a Council and a Secretariat. However, it will be subject to member countries’ deliberations and suggestions. The Assembly will provide guidance, direction and advice to the Secretariat for undertaking the activities. ISA’s detailed statute will be developed in consultation with member countries.
Financial Sustainability : The total Government of India support including putting normative cost of the land will be about Rs 400 crore (US$ 62 million).2 Government of India support of Rs 175 crore(US$ 27 million) will be utilized for creating building infrastructure and recurring expenditure. It will be provided over a 5 year period from 2016-17 to 2020-21. The recurring expenditure on ISA will be met from membership fee; contributions from bilateral and multilateral agencies; other appropriate institutions; and also from interest earned from the augmented corpus to be built up with contribution from bilateral, multilateral agencies andother appropriate institutions. Until another building is constructed, ISA will also use the newly built “Surya Bhawan” [Sun House] for its operations.
LIST MEMBER COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES FOR ISA : People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Republic of Angola, Argentina Republic, Commonwealth of Australia, Commonwealth of Bahamas, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Republic of Benin, Pluri’National State of Bolivia, Republic of Botswana, Federal Republic of Brazil, Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace, Burkina Faso, Republic of Burundi, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Republic of Chad, Republic of Chile, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Colombia, Union of Comoros, Congo – Democratic Republic of, Congo – Republic of, New Zealand, Republic of Costa Rica, Republic of Cote d’ivoire, Republic of Cuba, Republic of Djibouti, Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Republic of Ecuador, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of El Salvador, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, State of Eritrea, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Republic of Fiji, France, Gabonese Republic, Republic of The Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Grenada, Republic of Guatemala, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Guyana, Republic of Haiti, Republic of Honduras, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Kiribati, Laos People’s Democratic Republic, Republic of Liberia, Libya, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Malawi, Federation of Malaysia, Republic of Maldives, Republic of Mali, Republic of Marshall Islands, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Mauritius, United Mexican State, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Myanmar, Republic of Namibia, Republic of Nauru, The Netherlands, Republic of Nicaragua, Republic of Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Palau, Republic of Panama, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Republic of Paraguay, 85. Republic of Peru, Republic of Philippines, Republic of Rwanda, St. Lucia, Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Independent State of Samoa, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Seychelles, Republic of Sierra Leone, Republic of Singapore, Solomon Islands, Federal Republic of Somalia, Republic of South Africa, Republic of South Sudan, Democratic Socialist Republic of Srilanka, Republic of Sudan, Republic of Suriname, United Republic of Tanzania, Kingdom of Thailand, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Togolese Republic, Kingdom of Tonga, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Republic of Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Republic of Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Yemen, Republic of Zambia, Republic of Zimbabwe.
“It’s a new thing : GW. In this country we still know MW (mega watt). We can’t think beyond MW. Now it will be GW or Gega Watt. Solar Energy now will be produced in GW. It will be given to the whole world. The countries in the world will get a new leash of life to survive, to exist, to live…”, boisterously declared Modi. He was lustily supported by Hollande as he whole-heartedly clapped. Back in Washington, President Obama watched the whole proceedings and clapped as well appreciating Modi-effort hugely.