Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

France, India launch alliance for solar energy

France, India launch alliance for solar energy

At the launch of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on Sunday, Macron pledged hundreds of millions of dollars for solar projects in developing countries. This initiative was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech in November 2015 at Wembley Stadium.

Kagame said that it is an irony that some of the sunniest countries continue to lack energy.

While there are other countries which are acing the green energy race, India chose to partner with France for strategic and diplomatic reasons. The fact that they do is an unacceptable irony.

He pointed out that the alliance aims to address the main challenges related to solar energy and will expand its use among the member states in accordance with their needs.

However, to speed up its adoption and uptake, he advised that it has to be affordable and reliable. Therefore, it was essential for the world to strive to provide the required energy supplies through safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly sources that contribute to reducing the impacts of climate change. The line of credit is for a tenure of 15 years including a grace period of three years, and it will be used for financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in India.

For example, climate finance could fund levees to protect cities from flooding, environmental experts have said. He announced that India would soon launch a Solar Technology Mission, bringing together government, technological and educational agencies to develop R&D for increasing solar power use.

A Delhi Solar Agenda was unveiled under which ISA countries chose to "facilitate affordable finance, access to appropriate, clean and environment friendly technology and undertake capacity building, including forging mutually beneficial partnerships with reputable global institutions and reputable financial institutions for the benefit of developing countries".

"We have to encourage innovation so that solar solutions can be provided for various needs". ISA and ADB have joined hands for promotion of solar energy in Asia and the Pacific, including solar farms, solar based mini-grids, and transmission systems dedicated for integrating solar energy into the grids. "This fusion of capabilities will help to catalyse solar development in line with the goals set out under the Paris Agreement".

Solar power tariffs in India have fallen by almost 80% since 2010, hitting a record low of Rs 2.44 (about US$ 0.03) a unit in May 2017.

Geo-politically, ISA is one more way for France to strengthen its ties with India for a better cooperation in maritime security and trade.

To raise funds required for solar investments in coming years, Kagame said that public-private partnerships would be an ideal avenue as governments alone can not raise required funds.

"As one of the 26 founding members of the ISA, Australia is looking forward to sharing its expertise in solar technologies and research globally". Public-private partnership is required.

The minister made the remarks after signing the ISA framework agreement in the presence of Indian Ambassador in Cairo Sanjay Bhattacharyya. Leaders of 47 countries will be participating in the Founding Conference. We will generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be from solar power. It aimed to meet the growing demand for energy of at least 25 percent over the next decade, driven by the growth of the global economy, which was hard to achieve through a single source of energy.

"India welcomes esteemed dignitaries from Guinea, Tuvalu, DR Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius for the International Solar Alliance Summit", tweeted Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of external affairs ministry. India had also considered a 70% safeguard duty on solar panel and cells imports from China, which fortunately did not go through. Infrastructure minister James Musoni (third right), the chief executive officer of Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi (second right), and Rwanda's High Commissioner to India, Ernest Rwamucyo (left) were part of the President's delegation.

UN Environment chief Erik Solheim called the conference a milestone in the fight against pollution and climate change and congratulated India and France.

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba addresses delegates at the ISA gathering in New Delhi yesterday.

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