‘India’s place in the Sun: With the launch of the International Solar Alliance at COP21, India sets out to make solar technology affordable, accessible’

As negotiations are set to begin here at the Climate Summit in Paris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed India’s commitment to address climate change, at the launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), with the French President Francois Hollande.

121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, have been invited to create an International Steering Committee to provide the necessary guidance, direction and advice required to establish the International Solar Alliance and drive forward its mission.
The International Solar Alliance has been a key policy initiative of the Indian government. In developing countries, there are more than 1.3 billion people, who do not have access to energy. For these 1.3 billion to meet their aspirations, access to energy is a prerequisite. Alternative sources of energy, like solar and renewable energy are essential to ensure that developing countries can simultaneously push for development, while aiming to cut down on emissions.

Developing nations understand that the need of the hour is to adopt alternate energy; however, fossil fuel use cannot be completely avoided, but their use has to be made cleaner. There is an urgency to make alternate means of energy cheaper, more reliable, and more accessible to all.

Therefore, the objective of the ISA is to significantly augment solar power generation in developing countries and allow member nations to undertake joint efforts through innovative policies, projects, and programmes. The Alliance is also expected to look into capacity building measures and financial instruments to mobilise more than USD 1000 Billion that are needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy.

The ISA can ensure the global promotion of solar technologies such that it induces market aggregation and investment in the solar sector, and enhances income generation for the poor. The mandate of the Alliance also extends to formulation of projects and programmes to promote solar applications; development of innovative financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital, and a unique measure to build a common knowledge e-portal to ease information sharing between member nations. The Alliance will look into the facilitation of capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member nations.


India has introduced concrete measures to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by investing widely into renewable energy through the National Solar Mission. The government has already actioned the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which aims to enable installation of 100 GW of solar energy by 2022. This mission also includes the creation of 25 solar parks, ultra mega solar power projects and provision of 100,000 solar pumps for farmers.

India will support the ISA by hosting this initiative at our national institute of Solar energy. India will also provide land and contribute approximately US$30 million to build the secretariat infrastructure. We will support the operations of the secretariat for five years and together raise long term funds to achieve our goals.

This Alliance exemplifies “just climate action” helping the world’s poorest countries access to technology to further their development and protect the planet. For the success of this Alliance, it is crucial to have the support of developed nations in terms of technology and monetary resources.

I reiterate the call of the Prime Minister of India, to nations to support this Alliance, so as to ensure that all nations, developing and developed, are able to guarantee a life worth living, on a planet worth living on, for the present and future generations.

Author: Kimberly Clarke

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