First movements from International Solar Alliance

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The International Solar Alliance (ISA), spearheaded by India, is about to take shape with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and French president Francois Hollande due to lay a foundation stone for the new ISA headquarters in Delhi on 25 January.

The ISA, launched at COP21 in Paris, is an alliance of 121 countries with strong solar resources, lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn

The countries aim to work together on reducing the cost of finance and technology for the deployment of solar capacity in these emerging markets, with a plan to mobilise more than US$1,000 billion of investment by 2030.

Modi and Hollande will also inaugurate the interim secretariat of the ISA at National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gurgaon.

Upendra Tripathy, secretary of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said India has offered INR1 billion (US$14.7 million) to create an ISA corpus fund. The Indian government has also offered training support for ISA member countries and help for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and other solar applications.

The International Steering Committee of the ISA met in December last year in Paris and this month in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The committee has identified the need to develop a road map and a plan to gather the involvement of national governments, private sector and financing institutions.

Mohit Anand senior analyst at GTM Research told PV Tech that Modi’s initiative to bring together an alliance of solar-suitable countries shows that there is political motivation behind achieving higher levels of coordination to access the financing that was pledged at COP21.

He added: “It is directing a lot of the policy making and policy energy and administrative support needed to channelize that capital into emerging markets, which is exactly what they need.”

Anand said these countries tend to have huge energy deficits and enormous demand and through the Alliance they are signalling that they want that demand to be met through solar.

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