US joins International Solar Alliance, Prime Minister Modi’s brainchild

by Nov 14, 2021Energy & Environment0 comments

The United States has joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a member country. It becomes the 101st country to sign the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyze global energy transition through a solar-led approach. US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry announced the decision at COP26 in Glasgow this week.

Welcoming the US, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said the move will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world.

We worked out the details and this is a process we are pleased to be a part of. This will be an important contribution to more rapid deployment of solar globally. It will be particularly important for developing countries, Kerry said.

Signing the framework agreement, John Kerry said it has long been coming and US is happy to join the International Solar Alliance, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead in making. He said this will be an important contribution to the more rapid deployment of solar globally.

In a Tweet, Kerry, the first United States Special Presidential Envoy for climate, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for championing this important endeavor.

Director General of ISA, Dr. Ajay Mathur, said that the US’ endorsement of ISA’s framework and approach is a heartening development and demonstrates that nations across the world are recognizing the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source’s potential as a catalyst for the global energy transition.

This move will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world. The ISA framework, first circulated for countries to support in 2016, emphasises delivering global relevance and local benefit to all countries through collaborations.

The ISA’s key interventions focus on readiness and enabling activities, risk mitigation and innovative financing instruments to facilitate the promotion and deployment of solar technologies in target markets.

The fact that more and more countries are joining the ISA means that they are recognising the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source’s potential as a catalyst for global energy transition.

“We are now even more committed to translating this confidence into tangible projects and developments on the ground, accelerating the momentum of solar adoption that has been built so far. We hope remaining nations and economies will follow suit, and align with us to achieve swift, affordable and effective climate action, while also achieving their respective economic growth and long-term development priorities”, Dr Ajay Mathur says.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed the United States entry into the International Solar Alliance. In a tweet, Mr. Modi said, it will further strengthen the ties in their shared quest of harnessing solar energy for a sustainable planet.

The launch of ISA was announced by Mr. Modi and the then French President Francois Hollande in November 2015 at the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris.

The ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.

The ISA will provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar-resource-rich countries, through which the global community, including governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and other stakeholders, can contribute to help achieve the common goal of increasing the use and quality of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.

ISA has been conceived as be an action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security and sustainable development, and to improve access to energy in developing member countries. The ISA has 122 sun-belt countries that lie between the two tropics as its prospective member countries.

ISA will not duplicate or replicate the efforts that others (like International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), United Nations bodies, bilateral organizations etc.) are currently engaged in, but will establish networks and develop synergies with them and supplement their efforts in a sustainable and focused manner.

As guided by the Framework Agreement of the ISA, the interests and objectives of the ISA are as follows:

– To collectively address key common challenges to scale up solar energy applications in line with their needs;

– To mobilize investments of more than USD 1000 billion by 2030;

– To take coordinated action through programmes and activities launched on a voluntary basis, aimed at better harmonization, aggregation of demand, risk and resources, for promoting solar finance, solar technologies, innovation, R&D, capacity building etc.;

– To reduce the cost of finance to increase investments in solar energy in member countries by promoting innovative financial mechanisms and mobilizing finance from Institutions;

– To scale up applications of solar technologies in member countries, and

– To facilitate collaborative research and development (R&D) activities in solar energy technologies among member countries.

– To promote a common cyber platform for networking, cooperation and exchange of ideas among member countries.

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