Four agreements signed at meet organised by International Solar Alliance

Prime Minister Modi called on all UN members to join ISA to save the Earth

By Pratha Jhawar, Ashish George
Published: Tuesday 08 September 2020
Four agreements signed at meet organised by International Solar Alliance. Photo:

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) organised the First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) on September 8, 2020.

The virtual summit brought together 26,000 participants from 153 countries to discuss recent developments and issues of technology transfers and barriers in the solar energy sector.

It also facilitated decision-makers and stakeholders to meet and discuss their priorities and strategic agenda towards a broader integration.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address included his request to all United Nations (UN) member countries to join this initiative that is using ubiquitous solar energy to save the Earth.

The conference saw ISA signing four agreements, signalling its intent to focus on key areas of the solar energy sector.

First, a partnership agreement between the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy, the World Bank and ISA on One World, One Sun, One Grid. Second, a partnership between the Global Green Growth Institute and ISA on the promotion of a million solar pumps.

Third, a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Institute for Refrigeration, Paris and ISA. Finally, partnership agreements on the implementation of 47 projects between ISA and NTPC. ISA also launched its technology journal, Solar Compass 360.

The alliance was jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and former French President Hollande on November 30, 2015, in Paris, on the side lines of the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or CoP21.

ISA is a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (that lie entirely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs. The alliance has geo-political significance and it aims for a trans-regional solar energy cooperation for equitable and just energy order.

ISA aims to deploy 1,000 giagwatts (GW) of solar installations globally by 2030, for which, it projects the need for $1 trillion in funds.

“One of the key strategies of ISA is to strive for the establishment of a $300 billion Global Risk Mitigation Fund, in persuasion of the UN Millennium Development Goal of Universal Energy Access,” Upendra Tripathy, director-general of ISA had said.

“It would be used to create innovative financial mechanisms in ISA countries as credit risk guarantee funds, first loss facility, security payment mechanism over a period of 10 years,” Tripathy had added.

Bertrand Piccard, founder and chairman, Solar Impulse Foundation, Switzerland, busted myths on the cost, intermittency and compatibility. He said solar energy had already passed that stage and was now the cheapest source of energy that worked well with other renewable sources of energy (wind, bio-energy, hydro).

Solar energy was now required to fight air pollution and also to reduce inequality in the world. ISA provides an opportunity for economic recovery through a clean energy transition amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) instigated slowdown.

Nobel Laureate M Stanley Whittingham, who is the director and professor of Chemistry at Binghamton University, New York, said Li-ion batteries solved the issue of intermittency of renewable energy.

These allowed the world to move to an electrical society, helping the power and transport sector to reduce emissions. He asserted that energy storage with reduced cadmium dependency and clubbed with hydrogen technology would help mitigate climate change. 

Kadri Simson, representing the president of the European Commission said solar energy helped reinforce the globe’s commitment to future generations and countries, by enhancing energy security, creating jobs, and making economies more resilient for future crises.

Barbara Pompili, co-President of the ISA Assembly, highlighted that political commitment and a strong regulatory framework were responsible for the recent success of solar energy. “Solar is our answer to human development, sustainable development, support for biodiversity and clean energy for a shared future,” she said.

“ISA has been effective in creating new opportunities for solar energy and France was committed along with India and other partners to support solar movement in the world,” she added.

India is leading by example with immense development in the renewable energy sector at the national level and now ranks fourth in the world, with 35 GW of cumulative solar installations.

India has a target of installing 100 GW and 300 GW of solar by 2022 and 2030 respectively. Despite some technical and regulatory issues, the commitment of India stays strong.     

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