India and France Launch $1 Trillion Potential Solar Programme for Developing Countries

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Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Ms Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea, in charge of International Relations on Climate and President of COP21 co-chaired a Ministerial Side Event on International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York on April 22, 2016. Shri Goyal and Ms Ségolène Royal announced the solar finance programme that aims to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of more than $1 trillion investment to members of the ISA. The Interim Administrative Cell of ISA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) declared their intention to promote solar energy globally. Ministers and representatives from over 25 countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Peru, Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Mali, India, the USA and France participated in the ISA side event. In order to accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales in their countries, Ministers agreed to take concerted action through targeted programmes launched on a voluntary basis, to better harmonize and aggregate the demand for:

  • Solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of more than US $1,000 billion investment in solar assets in member countries;
  • Mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at small scale and need to be scaled up;
  • Future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic and collaborative solar R&D, to improve the efficiency and integration of solar power as well as increase the number of solar applications available.

A common buyers’ market for solar finance, technology, innovation, capacity building, etc., will lead to higher quality, lower costs, products better tailored to needs, collaborative innovation, technology ownership, and a more balanced dialogue with all stakeholders. This will empower solar-rich countries, lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, which share common challenges and opportunities. As an initial step, Ministers agreed to start analysing and sharing the needs, objectives, and obstacles to deployment at scale along the value chain, for those applications for which they seek the benefits of collective action under the Alliance. On this basis, they will design innovative programmes leveraging initiatives from the ground. The two programmes of the ISA— “Affordable finance at scale” and “Scaling solar applications for agricultural use”, were launched during the event.

While announcing the programmes, Shri Piyush Goyal expressed his confidence that these programmes will serve the interests of the farming communities in the prospective ISA member countries and ensure that there is sufficient flow of affordable finance for solar projects. He further stated that the ISA will provide a vibrant platform to bring together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate demand for solar energy globally, thereby reducing prices; promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity; and facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale.

Source: Press Information Bureau