The International Solar Alliance (ISA) founding ceremony was held in New Delhi over the weekend, spearheaded by Indian prime minster Narendra Modi and French president Emmanuel Macron, with multiple development banks signing significant partnership agreements.
So many heads of state were present at the meeting that a traffic issue was sent to the already bustling Indian capital on Friday morning, warning that jams were expected throughout the weekend as world leaders arrived, with solar as the key talking point.
Macron said that France would commit another €700 million to the new inter-governmental organization and emphasized his country’s commitment to clean energy, according to a Reuters report.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi took to Twitter to explain the importance of the ISA on the global stage:
President @EmmanuelMacron and I are honoured to host the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance. This assembly of world leaders in New Delhi will hopefully give a clarion call to action on solar energy and its uses for a better future. pic.twitter.com/17vR6srI4B
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 11, 2018
The ISA already has at least 60 signatories, of which 30 have ratified the agreement, having been launched by Modi in partnership with France back in 2015.
Development banks back ISA
At the founding, the world's major development banks also sought to back the initiative. An Indian government release said that the ISA signed joint financial partnership declarations with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Green climate fund (GCF), and the New Development Bank (NDB) during the founding.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have also signed separate joint partnership declarations with the ISA.
In recent months, the ISA had already signed partnerships with the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The ISA aims to facilitate deployment of over 1,000 GW of solar energy and the mobilising of more than US$1,000 billion into solar energy by the year 2030.
Indian minister of energy R.K. Singh said that ISA has the potential to have a huge impact on the future of the planet, with renewable energy now a viable alternative.
The ISA will support various PV initiatives in countries between the tropics by backing the likes of ADB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025. Similarly, AfDB’s transformative ‘Desert to Power’ initiative in the Sahel and Sahara regions of Africa envisages 10GW of solar power generation and providing clean energy to 90 million people. For these projects, the ISA will help mobilise concessional financing.
ADB will provide US$3 billion per year by 2020 for clean energy, including solar energy projects in its developing member countries. 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.
The New Development Bank (NDB) aims to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS nations and other emerging market economies and developing countries.
“IRENA estimates that solar must account for at least 35% of global power capacity by 2050 to meet the objectives the Paris Agreement on climate,” said IRENA director general Adnan Z. Amin.
EIB and IREDA agree on €150 million loan
EIB and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) have also signed a loan agreement for a second line of credit worth €150 million on a non-sovereign basis here, over the weekend. 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.
R. K. Singh said: “There are villages in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh where you track on foot for three to four days to reach. Our aim is to bring electricity to even these remote places. We have decided to go green, as we have a responsibility to future generations and the planet.”