Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday presented a 10-point action plan to promote the use of solar energy as part of efforts to tackle climate change as India and France co-hosted the day-long founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit in New Delhi.
With French President Emmanuel Macron by his side at the meet held at Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre, Modi said there should be a full ecosystem for availability and development of technology, economic resources, development of storage technology, mass manufacturing and innovation.
“First of all, we should ensure cheap and easy availability of solar technology. The solar ratio in the energy mix should be increased and innovation should be encouraged so that solutions for our various needs can be provided,” he said.
The PM called for concessional financing at lower risk for solar projects to raise the share of solar power in the energy basket. He said regulatory aspects and standards should be developed to find solutions fast. “Consultancy support should be developed for bankable solar projects in developing nations.”
“We should work for increased participation and inclusiveness. We should build a comprehensive network of centres of excellence keeping local circumstances and factors in mind. We should look at our solar energy policy development in totality so that this can play a role in meeting the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals of the UN).”
Modi also called for a strong and professional ISA Secretariat located in Gurugram.
He promised to generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in India from renewable energy sources by 2022.
As a demonstration of India’s commitment to ISA, Modi said 500 training slots would be created for member countries and a solar technology mission started to lead R&D in the sector. He added that to supplement solar energy generation, India has distributed 28 crore LED bulbs in the last three years which have helped save $2 billion and 4 GW of electricity.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid were among the world leaders who attended the summit.
Launched by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande in 2015, the ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.
It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
“Of the 121 prospective nations, 61 have joined the alliance, 32 have also ratified the framework agreement. But in this alliance our biggest partner is the sun God which spreads light outside and gives strength to our resolve,” Modi said.
In his address, President Macron said France would extend an extra 700 million euros ( $861.5 million) through loans and donations by 2022 for solar projects in emerging economies, he said. “We should not forget that we only have one planet and we are sharing it and for that there is no alternative. There is a joint destiny which means we also have some joint duties,” he said.
The summit focused on various aspects of promoting solar energy, such as credit mechanism, crowdfunding and sharing of technological breakthroughs, in prospective member countries.