Half of India’s PSU owned fuel stations to be solar powered in five years to show their commitment towards “One Sun, One World and One Grid”
The first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) got off to a grand start on 08 September 2020, with 10500 participants and 50 + speakers from across the globe joining the deliberations virtually to discuss how to accelerate the adoption of affordable and sustainable clean green energy across the world
The President of the International Solar Assembly (ISA) and India’s New and Renewable Energy Minister, Mr R.K. Singh was joined by the Vice Presidents of ISA from Africa, Asia Pacific and the Latin American and Caribbean Region (LAC) during the inaugural address. The Co-President of the Assembly, France’s Minister for Ecological Transition sent a video message to the Summit.
India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, speaking at the inaugural lauded the efforts of ISA. The Minister committed that the entire hydrocarbon will support the deployment and increased promotion of solar energy and announced that five Public Sector undertakings under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas will be joining ISA’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as Corporate Partners and will be contributing to ISA’s Corpus Fund.
The CSCA is a consortium of public and private entities working in the direction of Universal Energy Access and meeting climate targets. A recent initiative, it brings together energy or nonenergy-based companies joining ISA as Corporate Partners. A company, irrespective of its core business area is welcome to join this Coalition by first becoming a Corporate Partner of ISA. -Each partner pledges US$ 1 million to join the coalition. With this commitment from the five PSUs, ONGC, IOCL, BPCL, Hindustan Petroleum and GAIL, ISA will have a corpus fund of US$17 million, having already got 12 private and public enterprises in India to partner with ISA. It is also expected that seven more partners will join in October during the Assembly.
Speaking at the ‘First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS)’, organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) with FICCI, Mr Pradhan said that the summit will play a key role in our collective journey to make Solar Energy available for the common people. “Increasingly and rightly so, Indian oil and gas companies are actively taking part in clean energy transition,” he added. Mr Pradhan further said that in order to reduce carbon footprints, Indian oil and gas companies will be focused more on green energy investments such as renewable, biofuel, and hydrogen energy going forward. The oil and gas PSU are increasingly evaluating new opportunities in the solar and RE space with a diversification. Mr Dharmendra Pradhan underlined that India’s oil and gas companies are making efforts to deploy solar panels across the value chain of their operations. The current installed capacity is 270 MW and an additional 60MW will be added in the coming years. “We have taken up the mission of solarising 50 percent of the fuel stations owned by the PSU companies in the next 5 years. More than 5000 of fuel station of Indian Oil were solarised last year,” he said.
Mr RK Singh, India’s New and Renewable Energy & Skill Development and President, International Solar Alliance (ISA) Assembly read out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message for the summit. The message said that this summit provides an ideal occasion to discuss the future of technology in solar energy. India and France had jointly taken the initiative of a national solar alliance in 2015. The seeds for the idea down 5 years ago have today blossomed into an inter-governmental alliance. “Five years ago, world leaders had taken a pledge to restrict the rise in global temperatures through a gradual reduction in the dependence on fossil gas. India has the lowest per capita carbon emission and ranks fourth in Renewable power, but we are still pressed ahead with the deployment of Renewable Energy at a frantic pace. We have enhanced our installed renewable capacity by 2.5 times and increased our solar installed capacity by more than 13 times,” the Prime Minister’s message said.
The message from the PM also spoke of Kusum, a government scheme that aims to replace the use of diesel in our farm sector with solar energy. Under this scheme, the government has targeted the solarisation of 2.8 million irrigation pumps. Such schemes will not only benefit the environment but also increase the incomes of the farmers, the message said.
One of the main action- agenda of the summit was the tripartite agreement signed between the New and Renewable Energy Ministry, the World Bank and the ISA. The World Bank will be funding the initiative and will explore how energy from one part of the world where the sun is shining can be shared with another part of the world.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Mr Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank said, “India’s commitment to play its global role as the lighthouse of the world would be pivotal in ensuring the One Sun, One World, One Grid.” (OSOWOG). The OSOWOG is based on the three critical pivots of sustainability, global interdependencies, and India’s commitment to play its global role. The World Bank Group is committed to support India and the global community in achieving this vision.”
Three Partnership Agreements were signed by ISA with International Institute for Refrigeration, Paris; Global Green Growth Institute (Republic of Korea) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, set the context for the deliberations by drawing attention to the importance of solar energy as a powerful source in providing energy at moderate cost. He spoke of the long haul in harnessing and storing solar energy and the 3 need for ISA to focus on research to impact using solar energy at a large rapid scale. He said “We must acknowledge that Solar Energy has become a very powerful source of providing energy at modest costs”. Partnerships between energy generation and energy storage is very important. While we focus on the storage solutions, we must also focus on reuse and recycle, he said. “India’s emission mitigation policy is centered on electricity to expand to transportation in the industrial and agricultural sector as well,” added Prof Raghavan.