Global Solar Alliance
The Paris Declaration, which was announced on the 30TH of November, 2015 had a target to undertake a joint effort to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology globally. It aims to mobilize more than 65 thousand Crore (1000 billion dollars) of investments that are needed for the massive deployment of solar energy and also create a way for future technology adapts to the changing needs. The declaration recognizes that solar energy can efficiently be implemented in countries with an abundant solar resource that is lying partially or entirely between the tropic of cancer and Capricorn. The conference was held to negotiate a global agreement on the reduction of climate change through the reduction of emission of greenhouse gasses that affect the ozone layer. It emphasized on the need for alternative sources of energy like solar, wind, biogas, etc. through collaboration between nations to facilitate growth in the various industries.
The Global Solar Alliance is a community-oriented project established by Solarexpo, SNEC PV Power Expo, and the Solar Power International. This project was initiated by leading trade exhibition and business conferences in Europe, China, and the USA with a purpose of driving the global development of the solar industry. It is the world’s first international initiative project that aims to promote growth and the use of solar energy by facilitating the flow of information and raising awareness among trade specialists, public opinion, and the political world. The alliance focuses mainly on providing an efficient international platform for the exchange of research and development, materials, etc. to harmonize the growth of the solar industry all over the globe.
The Global Solar alliance takes up new initiatives through broader targeted membership on a local scale to commence the emergence and development of a new regional market for the solar industry while catering for the increasing demand for solar energy and the challenges associated with access to power at the global level. The initiative also focuses on creating an active dialogue between leading solar industries and policymakers to create equal opportunity for the growth of solar industry at both a regional and global scale.
The world’s latest inter-governmental organization is the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which was established on the 6th of December in the year 2017. Over 61 countries have signed the framework of the ISA and have also been ratified by 32 nations. The ISA founding conference that was held on the 11th of March in New Delhi, resulted in representatives of 46 countries had agreed to collaborate along with the senior members of 10 development banks. The alliance focuses on the actions that need to be taken to follow through with the plan. The ISA aims to reduce the cost of solar technology to increase the aggregate demand, to lower the cost of finance for the rapid deployment of solar projects, and to pool in global resources to invest in research and development to improve and enhance solar technology.
The vision of the International Solar Alliance is to provide a platform for cooperation between solar rich countries, by including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporate, industry and other stakeholders to make contributions that can help achieve the common goal. The ISA also is working along the lines of increasing use of solar energy and meeting the energy requirements of countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner. As of yet, there is no particular body in place to address the specific solar requirements of countries that are located between the tropic of cancer and Capricorn. The establishment of ISA was to discuss common issues that solar rich nations face to assist the scaling up of solar energy in line with their needs. The ISA has its headquarters in Gurgaon, which is on the outskirts of the National Capital Region of India.
The ISA merges a global market for countries that are solar rich but capital-poor, which are planning to invest in solar energy projects. The ISA also works with its members to coordinate the deployment of large-scale resources required for the implementation of such projects. One of the programs of ISA has been planned to deploy over 5 lakh solar irrigation pumps which amount energy up to 2,500 MW of capacity. The organization is not a power utility; hence, they cannot sign power purchase agreements with other countries. The response of solar technology suppliers is more efficient when they are given an enforceable contract rather than political speeches given during summits or meetings of the organization. The ISA has to bring together policymakers, rural enterprises, pump manufacturers, and commercial lenders to plan a business and financial model for solar projects, and also generate maximum returns on investments made.
Developing nations cannot afford to invest vast sums in the research and development of solar energy. The ISA assists nations to pool their resources for better technology and advancements in the field of solar energy. These include the increase in efficiency of solar cells in dusty environments, the setting up of solar plants in rural areas for its application in income generating activities, supplying material to small and medium industries, and also sturdy batteries for rough environmental conditions. One of the many challenges that ISA faces is the insufficient flow of money to regions where there is the maximum availability of sunlight. The lack of low-cost finance for the deployment of solar energy resources is another barrier that is faced by the organization. The ISA is not a multilateral bank; hence their functioning is limited to facilitate market-ready financial institutions, which are funded mainly by private investments. The ISA seeks to facilitate up to 65 thousand crores of investments in solar projects by the year 2030.
Among the various projects of the ISA that are being planned and implemented, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar power plant which is located in the Mirzapur district. The facility has the capacity of 75 MW, which was built by a French solar firm ENGIE. The project consists of 1,18,600 solar panels that have been set over 380 acres of land and was made at the cost of 500 crores. The plant is said to generate over 15.6 crore units annually and produce 1.30 crore units monthly. At the conference, held recently, PM Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of for concessional funding and less-risky funds for the implementations of solar projects to decrease carbon emission and increase funding. India’s target to generate 175 GW of solar energy capacity by the year 2022 has paved the way for the enhancements in the solar industry as the price of solar tariffs has dropped to an all-time low of Rs 2.44 per unit.
As the globe moves towards the use of non-conventional sources of energy to decrease the carbon footprint as an effort to control the climate change that affects every individual. The formation of such alliance facilitates the implementation of solar projects in countries that are rich in solar resources but do not have the financial backing for its production. The formation of the ISA and the Global Solar Alliance has assisted the creation and enhancing the global market for solar energy through various investments and pooling in of resources of many countries, and ultimately achieving their goals.