Solar Energy Alliance co-founded by India to mobilize $ 1 trillion, with focus on Africa

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New Delhi: The International Solar Alliance (ISA), a multilateral body co-founded by India, plans to mobilize $ 1 trillion in global investments for solar energy in its member countries, with a particular focus on Africa , ThePrint learned.

On Tuesday, the ISA – founded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former French President François Hollande in 2015 – announced a partnership with the American charity Bloomberg Philanthropies to mobilize $ 1 trillion in energy investments solar in the world. The association was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

ISA and Bloomberg Philanthropies also plan to work with the Washington DC-based World Resources Institute to present an “Agenda for Solar Investment” at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which runs from October 31 to November 12.

When asked if there were any countries the ISA would prioritize investing in solar energy, the organization’s associate managing director, Jagjeet Sareen, told ThePrint: “The countries of Africa receives only about 4% of investments in renewable energy, and even less for solar energy. They represent 17% of the world’s population and 75% of the region do not have access to electricity. So at ISA, while we look at $ 1 trillion as our goal, the equitable distribution of those investments is just as important. “

Read also : Everything about International Solar Alliance, co-founded by France and India, to promote solar energy

Support for capacity building

In Africa, ISA will work in information, analysis and advocacy on solar markets, and provide capacity building support, from policy makers to technicians. “We have trained around 1,500 such people and our training program for bankers is a success in member countries, mainly from Africa and LDCs (least developed countries). Local financiers now understand what a solar project is, what the risks are and view these projects more favorably, ”said Sareen.

Investments in solar projects have fallen 44% due to the global pandemic, but are rebounding slowly this year, a recent BloombergNEF (BNEF) report find.

However, the report also notes that demand for electricity is expected to triple in 75 less developed ISA countries over the next 30 years, while the cost of large-scale solar power is expected to fall by almost 20% over the next five years. coming years. This means that solar power should be the “most economically viable solution” for adding new power generation capacity.

“India must lead by example”

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), India appears to be on track to meet its target of 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. In August, it crossed the 100 gigawatt (GW) mark of installed renewable energy capacity.

“India must, as they say, lead by example,” Sareen said. “Indian industries and financiers are also looking for opportunities outside of India. As the solarization program progresses in developing countries, India could very well offer technical and financial expertise to our member countries. “

Earlier this year, former Foreign Minister Shyam Saran remark that India has “a good story to tell” in terms of action on climate change ahead of COP26.

Sareen also said that if PM Modi launched the proposed ISA global solar power grid, known as “One Sun One World One Grid” at COP26, India could push for solar interconnections in the west with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and in the east with the countries of ASEAN.

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)

Read also : At United Nations climate meeting, India-co-founded alliance hopes to fulfill dream of global solar array

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